What Career Lessons Could You Learn From Mexico’s Escaped Drug Baron?

What Career Lessons Could You Learn From Mexico’s Escaped Drug Baron?
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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.

Plan ahead

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.


  • Ensure all of your enemies are dead and buried.
    Oh and ensure your enemies family are also dead and buried along side of them. That way no competition now or in the future

  • Plan ahead – yes, seduce and convince another Drug Baron’s wife to withdraw $7mil then cut off her head and send it back to the drug baron in a box…

    • Saw the first photo, and thought “what an ugly woman”
      Wasn’t till I scrolled down I realised my mistake..

  • I think the lesson is that money and threats of violence brings power. The term escape is being used liberally. If the Government wanted to keep him locked up they could have.

  • Network, network, network.
    You just never know when you are going to need tunnelling experts with motorbike on rails expertise.

    Inspire and motivate others through leadership and dread.
    There’s no end to the efforts your underlings will go to when they consider the alternatives of:
    * being fed feet first into a woodchipper
    * having sulphuric acid injected into their veins
    * watching their family being dismembered with power tools
    Remember, your imagination is the only limit, so let that creativity flow !!

    If it worked once, chances are it’ll work again
    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.
    The scope committee initially put forward that the secret door should lead to a heli-pad.
    Or a submarine base.
    But in the end, the tried and true method of tunnel carried the vote.

    Be generous with your time. And money.
    Officials are so overworked and under appreciated. Not many people actually value the hard work they put in, and the stress of responsibility.
    Show them that you have personally recognised their efforts by sending them a personalised gift.
    Like a mansion.

    Do not be too quick to judge.
    Because we fucking hate judges. And their stupid wigs.

  • From his own dealings with rival gangs, I’d say:

    If your rival takes no prisoners (but you do) your rival WILL use this to take advantage of you.

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