When you need tips on how to run your business, it’s easy to look to the greats. But while you can learn a lot from Steve Jobs, Charlie Sheen is an equally important example. Sometimes, the best advice can be found in the most questionable people.
Who: Charlie Sheen
What he did: The actor offered drug and ego-influenced rants about his CBS bosses to anyone who’d listen, resulting in his termination from the hit show Two and a Half Men.
What you can learn: Sure, Sheen got fired and the bulk of America thinks he’s a raging lunatic. But everyone’s still talking about him. Take a leaf from the tiger-blooded star’s book by creating a personal brand and making it ubiquitous. Social media can help you do it. Sheen’s Twitter presence earned him a world record and heaps more media coverage.
Who: Hosni Mubarak
What he did: After declaring a state of emergency, the Egyptian president who reigned for over 30 years, refused to step down despite criticism. Finally, amidst mass protests earlier this year, he decided to step down.
What you can learn: Know when to hold, know when to fold isn’t just a poker rule; it’s a valuable leadership lesson. Say you’re under attack for a bad investment or an unpopular decision. If you still believe in your managerial abilities, stick to your guns. Of course, if everyone in your company (not to mention your entire army) starts demanding your resignation, they might have a point.
What she did: The Jersey Shore star received a ton of flack for her 2010 arrest for public intoxication. Despite criticism, she bounced back and is a bigger star than ever. Not only is her show’s third season a huge hit, she’s a best-selling author and a slipper designer.
What you can learn: The easiest way to move on from a PR disaster is to just move on. Snooki could have taken a leave of absence from her show to recover, but that would have just brought more attention to the issue. Instead, she kept filming and launching new projects. As long as it isn’t a colossal oil spill, people will move on with you.
Who: American Apparel CEO Dov Charney
What he did: You mean aside from driving his company to bankruptcy, publicly dissing his CFO, ripping off Woody Allen and allegedly sexually assaulting an employee?
What you can learn: Don’t do any of that, and more importantly, all of that. Four years ago, American Apparel was a success story. Praised for brave designs and fair trade policies, Charney was the leader of a fashion phenomenon. Learn from his innovation and creativity, but avoid the endless stream of PR disasters.