Offense:
A "Gordon Gekko"-style corporate downsizer, Dunlap has routinely fired thousands of employees and closed plants and factories in search of better profits for shareholders, earning the nicknames "Chainsaw Al" and "Rambo in Pinstripes" along the way.

Classic Stumble: When Dunlap applied his brutal methods for increasing share value to Sunbeam-Oster, the company imploded. Sunbeam's stock rose from $12 a share to $53, then in four months nosedived to $11-1/4.

Why the rollercoaster ride? In order to increase Sunbeam's numbers, Dunlap gave large discounts to retailers, who bought much more merchandise than they could sell. The excess product was shipped to warehouses to be delivered later, yet Dunlap made sure the revenue was booked immediately, inflating the company's accounting.

Why the rollercoaster ride? In order to increase Sunbeam's numbers, Dunlap gave large discounts to retailers, who bought much more merchandise than they could sell. The excess product was shipped to warehouses to be delivered later, yet Dunlap made sure the revenue was booked immediately, inflating the company's accounting.

With stores overstocked, unsold inventory piled up in Sunbeam's storage facilities. Eventually, investors became unglued, and Dunlap was fired. He agreed to pay $15 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit.

Get Over It: Temporary spikes in performance don't equal greatness. Surround yourself with people who will call you on shortsighted thinking when you're tempted to play for the moment.