What I learned about leadership when I interviewed the biggest drug dealer in history

I think that’s actually a pretty good point, although I would lean on the side that it’s more amoral than inherently immoral - many of the skills that he discusses here are probably also used by heads of charities or churches - I say probably since I’m neither one of those sort of publicly moral figures, nor do I know any personally to ask.

As to whether he himself is an immoral person, I’d say that several bajillion dollars of crack sales certainly leaves us with a likely answer there.

None of my replies are addressed to you specifically other than to expand on what I originally wrote because you asked. No need to be catty.
I don’t believe the person who wrote the article is doing anybody any good by hand waving away the reason this guy is notable. Succefully running a criminal organization. (until he got caught that is)

It’s just my opinion, feel free to engage if you will, I’m game.
Of course, if you don’t even think I read the article then why bother?

Part of what he is preaching is “Try to limit the inevitable damage your business does.” This seems like good advice that a lot of business leaders could put into practice.

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Just because cocaine has been criminalized (Note: It was legal during the same time slavery was legal.) does not minimize a person’s professional success. It is disingenuous to call it a “career”. Rick Ross had a career plain and simple. Careers do not need to be couched in moral dressing. Would you write about a General as having a military “career”? Doubtful.


Actually, that’s exactly the term that is used:



Hmmmm. The Iran-Contra “situation” seems to me to be the most interesting about Ross. Yup, he was a pretty good businessman running a tricky business but, doh, hello, he was protected by the CIA/DEA and essentially a government employee for a good part of his career. He may have conveniently not discussed it–because while, yes, subordinates with guns are dangerous, government employees with guns are more dangerous–but it seems to me his number one rule of being America’s number one drug dealer was: Work for the government. Why is that not the most interesting thing about Ross? It wasn’t even included in the list of 100 questions?


Spotted an error:
The Richest Man in Babylon was actually written by George S. Clason. It’s great read if you get a chance, and is available in the public domain.

Og Mandino wrote “The Greatest Salesman in the World” and a slew of other books along those same lines.


Interesting post with a couple of weird passages:

Some nerdy Jewish guy who thinks he knows everything.

Why would your ethnicity matter?

When you make it not about the money the benefits never stop since money is only a tiny byproduct of the reasons we live, we do things, we strive for success.

What? That’s absurd.

I, too, mostly came here to gripe about the scare quotes around “career”. It’s infantile. This man had a career. His career was drug dealing. That is the correct word for it. If you are a writer, using words correctly to say what you mean is pretty fundamental.

A smarmy keyboard trick like this doesn’t make a point; it just vaguely suggests that the problem with crack dealing is that it’s not a “real job”, like, don’t do it kids, the insurance industry has better retirement plans. But drug dealing is a real job and it does make marginal economic sense for certain people-- and it involves exploitation, violence and murder-- that’s the whole problem.


I wonder what @TobinL has to say about all of this?

Now that it’s his de facto byline here, I guess we can read it as “BoingBoing is accepting money or other consideration to reprint this guy’s blog posts.”

Sure, there’s probably a fascinating story to be told about Ross (and it looks like it’s been done a number of times already), but absent some kind of rent, whether in money or some other form, I don’t see a website run by at least a few good authors “asking nicely” to reprint Altucher’s stuff in its original form. Or asking at all.

BoingBoing powers that be, if I’m mistaken, feel free to correct me.

You should check out the Vice documentary about Liberian warlords. The main subject was a psychopathic cannibal warlord named General Butt Naked. The guy repented and is now a christian preacher. My favorite part of the video is his super intense church sermon. Switch out the content and you could easily imagine the same speech given to a bunch a troops going into battle. It made me think, “hmm I guess it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, good leadership skills are good leadership skills.”

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