How Bugsy Blew It: Leadership Lessons from a Las Vegas Legend

Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel is a Las Vegas legend. Supposedly, he’s the genius who envisioned the city as a gambling oasis in the desert. Superstar entertainment, high-stakes action, shrimp cocktail by the ton–it was all his idea, believers say. Well, maybe not the shrimp cocktail, but you get the point. At the very least, he’s credited with conceiving the Flamingo, which some say revolutionized Las Vegas.

If you’re looking for a successful innovator as a role model, Bugsy Siegel should be your guy.

The thing is, he didn’t come up with the idea for the Flamingo, which wasn’t the first casino on the Las Vegas Strip. And, while he had a flair for fashion (not may men could make a checked sports coat look quite so debonair), he made lots of really bad decisions with the Flamingo. Along the way, one or more of those decisions  put him on the business end of a hail of slugs from a M1 carbine. Even if your business isn’t as “organized” as his,using him as your model is hardly your ticket to C-suite success.

In fact, if you wanted to learn how to be a good leader, you’d be best off doing the exact opposite of what Bugsy did.

In “How Bugsy Blew It,” I fill listeners in on the real Bugsy story, showing how the real Bugsy wasn’t quite the man Warren Beatty played onscreen in Barry Levinson’s 1991 biopic. He then discusses seven key mistakes that Bugsy made in his drive for underworld dominance, and gives listeners seven ways to learn from Bugsy’s mistakes.

This is an ideal talk for those who want an informative, sometimes funny, talk about leadership–both positive and negative–using one of the most notorious examples from Vegas history.

For more information about this talk, including scheduling and pricing, please contact me.

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