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64 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2020 other. Barger founded the Oakland Chapter of the HAMC in 1958 as president and quickly moved up the ranks to become the national president. Sonny Barger is widely credited with organizing the disparate groups under one "mothership," and for the tremendous in- ternational growth under his leadership. Barg- er also engineered the movement of the HAMC from crimes against public order to organized crime for profit. Barger organized the HAMC like a tradi- tional business with an organizational struc- ture, including chapter and national positions of president, vice president, treasurer, intelli- gence officer, and sergeant in arms (security). Members pay fees, hold fundraisers, and also make money legitimately. They trademarked their images and make a significant amount of money selling trademarked merchandise like T-shirts and other branded gear. The Hells An- gels are big business, and while exact num- bers are difficult to attain for obvious reasons, it is thought that worldwide revenue is in the billions of dollars. Today, the HAMC has over 2,500 members in over 200 charters across 29 countries and six continents. The Hells Angels' brand is so strong that they have actually become a busi- ness, formally incorporated in both the U.S. and Canada. Local, federal, and international law enforcement agencies allege that the Hells Angels are in the business of a range of illicit activity, includ- ing drug distribution, traf- ficking of firearms and stolen goods, prostitution, arson, robbery and other violence, extortion, and money laun- dering. In 2011, the State De- partment and the Department of Homeland Security added The Hells Angels to a list of criminal organizations that in- cludes the Mafia, the Chinese Triads, and the Japanese syn- dicate Yakuza. At the age of 77, Sonny Barger remains an active member of the Hells Angels in the Cave Creek Arizona Chapter since moving there from Oakland in 1998. In the interest of full disclosure, the Hells Angels claim they are just a group "of motorcycle enthusiasts who have joined to ride motorcycles together, or- ganize social events, fundraisers, parties, and motorcycle rallies." Lesson #1: Great Leaders Know They Don't Have All the Answers "Leaders accept dissent. The tyrant goes it alone." –Sonny Barger Modern Business Application In any business organization, a leadership mistake may result in a financial loss, product failure, or employee defection. In Sonny Barg- er's world, a leadership mistake may result in people dying. These kinds of stakes certainly come with their own set of elevated pressures and challenges, and business can take a les- son from Barger's masterful leadership under extreme conditions. Many leaders surround themselves with ex- tremely bright and loyal followers who either are uncomfortable with disagreement or have chosen sycophancy from a political standpoint. Truly great leaders have the courage and con- fidence to surround themselves with the most honest people. Autocrats are always right be-

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