Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the world’s most dangerous drug baron escaped from a high security Mexican prison over the weekend. Drug barons, as we’ve noted previously, can be sources of interesting career insights. What lessons could you learn from Guzmán’s escape?
Prescription drugs picture from Shutterstock
Not so much from the “get into drug trafficking and kill thousands”, because that’s poor business. By all reports, Guzmán has significant blood on his hands, and it’s to be hoped that he will be swiftly recaptured, although his history suggests that he’s rather hard to keep pinned down.
Still, the reports relating to Guzmán’s escape do highlight some important rudimentary business lessons that can be applied outside the illicit narcotics trade.
Always be well presented
Guzmán escaped through the shower in his cell, so authorities claim.
Career lesson: There’s never a circumstance where being well presented and clean isn’t a plus.
Guzmán’s escape tunnel ran for 1.5km underground, from a gap in his cell’s shower floor all the way to an abandoned construction site.
Career lesson: Guzmán was only arrested last year, which means that 1.5km of tunnel tall enough to stand up in and with its own lighting was constructed in that time.
Be willing to adapt
Astonishingly, this isn’t the first time that Guzmán’s tried to escape via plumbing fixtures. His capture last year was while he was trying to escape through a secret door hidden beneath his bath that led (you guessed it) to an escape tunnel.
Career lesson: Just because an idea didn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it can’t be adapted into a successful business process — in this case, escape.
Take advantage of miscommunications
Naturally, there’s a rather large manhunt on right now for Guzmán. However, there are conflicting reports as to whether a nearby airport at Toluca was actually shut down, with Vice News reporting that the airport has remained open since his escape.
Career lesson: Poor communications from your business rivals can be a big positive for your own efforts.