These Horrible Traits Will Help You Become a Powerful Leader in America

Editor’s note: This article is purely satire, and we at The Cheat Sheet want to make it abundantly clear that none of this should be taken as serious career advice. It is purely meant for entertainment and does not reflect the values or standards of Cheat Sheet employees, senior staff, or channel partners. Enjoy. 

It seems like every other day we are finding out about another politician or CEO of some company who is in hot water for something horrible. That’s all they’ll ever be in lately, and odds are they’re going to continue succeeding with little in the way of repercussions for their actions. So here are all the tragically horrible qualities you need to be a power player in today’s American society!

1. Be obscenely greedy

Gordon Gecko smoking a cigar
Gordon Gecko | 20th Century Fox

Yes, follow the words of Gordon Gecko when he said “greed is good,” and then make him blush. Be so greedy that the devil is sitting right beside you taking notes. Be greedy like Hunter Harrison, who was recently hired as railroad giant CSX’s CEO. For his service, the company is going to pay him around $300 million over the next four years. What does he do? He kills jobs! At his last job, Canadian Pacific Railways, he slashed 34% of the company’s employees, and took home nearly three times what his predecessor did. So the next time you’re conflicted about firing someone, just remember that their pay could be your pay!

2. Constantly sexually harass your co-workers and colleagues

Harvey Weinstein in a dark suit and white shirt against a white and black background
U.S. film producer Harvey Weinstein | Yann Coatsaliou/AFP/Getty Images

You may think to yourself that rampant sexual harassment is unacceptable in today’s society, but you’d be wrong! In fact, it’s so prevalent that you can become president if you want to. The best part about it is that many people desperately need work, and since you’re in a position of power, they’ll do whatever you say! So, the next time you’re in front of colleagues or employees and you’re thinking about whipping it out, just ask yourself, “what would Harvey do?”

3. Steal from your company and shareholders

Bernie madoff in a black suit getting out of a car
Financier Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan Federal court. | Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

This is classic behavior that really amounts to nothing in terms of punishment. All you have to do is steal quietly for a decade or two, and then serve a couple years in a white-collar prison, then you’re out and can go on living your best life. Heck, you can live a life of your dreams while you’re stealing as well! Just look at this long list of powerful and successful go-getters that the Securities and Exchange Commission has gone after. Virtually all of the ones who were convicted (if they ever get convicted) suffered very little in their punishment, often walking away with just a fine. Hell, you might even get a movie made about you.

4. Leach off the government

The KFC Yum! center located in a metropolitan area.
The KFC Yum! Center located in downtown Louisville | Getty Images

Did you think welfare was just for lazy people? Think again! Some of the largest welfare recipients are also the wealthiest. Now, we know that the media spends a lot of time chastising anyone who receives welfare, but that’s just for the “lazy people.” Corporate welfare is far more costly to the American taxpayer than those social programs will ever be, which is why we have to take advantage of that loophole! Yum is a company that we should be looking up to for guidance.
As the company that runs Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, Yum currently takes advantage of what’s called “performance pay,” where the income of their CEO David Novak is fully deductible! Now that’s some subsidized fast-food right there!

5. Create only the most horrific of working conditions

A firefighter stands among a destroyed building caused by an explosion
A Valley Mills Fire Department personnel walks among the remains of an apartment complex next to the fertilizer plant that exploded in West, Texas. | Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Let’s say you make it to the upper echelon of corporate America, and you’re just not feeling that successful. There is more you can do to make yourself (and your bank account) feel better. Abuse the living hell out of your employees and subsidiaries! Hell, you can even be responsible for the death of a bunch of firefighters and citizens, and the government will just call it gross negligence! That’s what West Fertilizer Company did while leaving a 200-foot wide crater in the ground. Awesome, right?

6. Barely pay your employees enough money to put food on their tables

A woman serving food is holding plates as she struggles through her day.
The struggles of the minimum wage are harder than ever in American society. | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Nothing says success like huge profit margins. So what better way than to achieve that than off the backs of your employees? What’s hilarious is that people often conflate a livable wage with the minimum wage, which is money in the bank for successful people.
Society says that you should be paying your employees at least $10.60 an hour just to live, but the federal government has your back. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour in case you were wondering! Even if we paid employees a livable wage, they still couldn’t afford to eat at the restaurant they likely work at, let alone pay for health insurance, savings, college loans, or any other expense they may have.

7. Make sure people know that spousal abuse isn’t as bad as kneeling during the National Anthem

An NFL kicker in full uniform smiling after a successful kick.
Nothing is gonna get this elite NFL kicker down! | Al Bello/Getty Images

When it comes to entertainment, there’s nothing much better than American football. Watching men beat the snot out of each other on a field is about as American as apple pie. By why stop at the field? Josh Brown admitted to severely abusing his wife for years and even referred to her as his “slave.” What did the NFL do? Pretty much nothing. A slap on the wrist and he was back to work like nothing happened. And sure, Brown is out of the league now, but that hasn’t stopped NFL teams from regularly employing other domestic abusers on the regular.

8. Cover up your mistakes that risk the livelihood of millions

A CEO shakes politicians hands after jeopardizing the identities of nearly half of all Americans
Just another day in retirement for this successful CEO, Richard Smith | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

When it comes to protecting the wealth and stability of American citizens, your job is the only thing that matters. Make sure you cover up any sort of breach for months before eventually reporting it. While you’re at it, make it so that if any of the millions of people who it affects wants to sue you, they can’t. That’s exactly what Equifax CEO Richard Smith did. He actually reached legendary status when he ended up profiting off of the breach as well! Just laugh your way to retirement with the millions of dollars in your bank account.
With these skills now in your quiver, get out there and ruin other peoples’ lives for your own benefit!
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