The Simpsons’ Montgomery Burns, on Leadership

Montgomery Burns is, Homer’s boss and is in charge of the Nuclear Power plant in The Simpsons. Anyone who’s seen The Simpsons can’t help but appreciate the humour in this character; he is a parody of managers and leaders everywhere. Here are some lessons from his leadership…


How to succeed in business:

Mr. Burns: I’ll keep it short and sweet — Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.


Taking care of employee health:

Homer: That is the most amazing doughnut I’ve ever tasted

Mr. Burns: Well, if you stay on with the Springfield nuclear plant, you could have one of these tasty beauties every day.

Lenny [about doughnut]: One of these every day might kill us.

Carl: Can we get a health plan to go with them?

Mr. Burns: Sure, you could have a health care or…. two donuts a day.


Safety on site:

Charlie: Well, sir, I won’t bore you with the details of our miraculous escape, but we desperately need a real emergency exit!

Mr. Burns: Why, that’s a fabulous idea! Anything else you’d like? How about real lead in the radiation shields? Urinal cakes, maybe?


Inspirational leadership:

Mr. Burns: Men, there’s a little crippled boy sitting in a hospital who wants you to win this game. I know because I crippled him myself to inspire you.


Dealing with labour laws:

Female Department of Labor Officer: This power plant violates every labor law in the book. We found a missing soccer team from Brazil working in the reactor core!

Mr. Burns: That plane crashed on my property!


Union negotiations:

Mr. Burns: We both want a fair union contract.

Homer: (thinking) Why is Mr. Burns being so nice to me?

Mr. Burns: And if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

Homer: (thinking) Wait a minute. Is he coming onto me?

Mr. Burns: I mean, if I should slip something into your pocket, what’s the harm?

Homer: (thinking) My God! He is coming onto me!

Mr. Burns: After all, negotiations make strange bedfellows. (chuckle, wink)

Homer: (thinking) Aaahh! Sorry, Mr. Burns, but I don’t go in for these backdoor shenanigans. Sure, I’m flattered, maybe even a little curious, but the answer is no!


Gender equality at work:

Marge: You can’t fire me just because I’m married. I’m gonna sue the pants off you!

Mr. Burns: You don’t have to sue me to get my pants off.


Selecting employees for promotion:

(Mr. Burns and Smithers study security camera footage.)

Mr. Burns: Morons. Pathetic morons in my employ, stealing my precious money. This is hopeless. None of these cretins deserves a promotion.

Smithers: Well, it’s in the union contract, sir. One token promotion from within per year.

Mr. Burns: Wait! Who is that young go-getter? (Points at a monitor with Homer on it.)

Smithers: Well, it sort of looks like (Chuckles) Homer Simpson, only more dynamic and resourceful.

Mr. Burns: Simpson, huh? Hmm. An unspoiled lump of clay to mold in my own image. Our new junior executive. Bring him to me!


Ethical leadership:

(In Mr. Burns’ office, the Government Inspector gives Mr. Burns his report.)

Government Inspector: Mr. Burns, in 20 years, I have never seen such a shoddy, deplorable–

Mr. Burns: Oh look! Some careless person has left thousands and thousands of dollars just lying here on my coffee table. Uh, Smithers, why don’t we leave the room, and hopefully, when we return, the pile of money will be gone.

(Mr. Burns and Smithers exit for a moment and then return to the office.)

Mr. Burns: Doh! Look, Smithers, the money and a very stupid man are still here.


Employee engagement:

(At Springfield Stadium, Mr. Burns and Smithers make their way to their seats.)

Mr. Burns: Ah, sitting with the employees. I guess this proves I’m their friend. You did get me something on an aisle, Smithers. I don’t want to be surrounded by them.


Work-life balance:

(Mr. Burns thinks to himself just before drowning.)

Mr. Burns: I guess this is the end. I just wish I’d spent more time at the office.


9:37 pm | by Pete_Hamill

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