Kim Jong Il – farewell and good riddance

Too soon?

WHEN someone dies it is cruel to make jokes at their expense immediately thereafter.

However, not just any crackpot loony has the ability to single handedly plunge an entire nation into abject poverty.  Well done Kim!

Kim Jong Il, who passed away today (in case you missed the memo) will be fondly remembered along with other notable historical leaders such as Pol Pot (Cambodian genocide), Mao Tse-Tung (the Great Leap Backwards) and Adolf Hitler (The Holocaust).

Kim Jong Il was by all accounts a raving lunatic, and if you would like to laugh at his expense you can:

  1. check out Kim Jong Il looking at things here, and
  2. ponder the ridiculous fate of his son, Kim Jong Un, who is privately doubting that he’s crazy enough to run North Korea.

So, jokes aside, what can business leaders learn from one of the world’s worst leaders?

Luckily, Kim Jong Il was such a dreadful leader that it is very easy learn from his mistakes. Simply ask yourself “what would Kim have done?” and then do the opposite.

Here are three hand-picked leadership lessons brought to you by the dear leader:

  1. be a tyrant (don’t – you should encourage worker engagement),
  2. discourage diversity (don’t – you should promote a meritocratic work environment where people are hired and promoted based on value contribution rather than gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or other arbitrary forms of categorisation), and
  3. prohibit freedom of expression (don’t – you should keep the communication lines open because you should not be competing against your colleagues but against your own personal best performance).