Comparison of Dalai Lama and Shkreli as Leaders

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Popularity and influence of leaders primarily depend on whether others perceive them positively or negatively. Dalai Lama and Martin Shkreli are some of the historical leaders who the society perceives differently. Dalai Lama is a Tibetan’s spiritual leader who is famously known for passing messages of love and responsibility globally and engaging in humanitarian work. On the contrary, Martin Shkreli provided poor leadership while serving as a CEO of various companies, a factor which tainted his name. Therefore, it is apparent that Dalai Lama is more popular and loved by many people compared to Shkreli, hated for committing numerous crimes as a leader.

Background Information

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama was born in 1935 and identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama at age 2 when he was renamed Tenzin Gyatso and started his religious education at age 6 (Stewart, 1996). In 1950, he assumed full political power, and four years later, he went to negotiate a peace deal in Beijing after the Chinese invaded Tibet.

Dalai Lama is known for his fight for an autonomous Tibet and general promotion of peace and other elements that can benefit humanity (Lama, Hopkins & Gere, 2005). He has been pushing for global coexistence and the need to respect all religions and pushing for ways of addressing Tibetan challenges.

Martin Shkreli

Shkreli was born in 1983 in Brooklyn and involved himself in stock trade at age 12 when he bought shares of Compaq before dropping out of a prestigious high school at age 16 in 2000 (Goldman, 2015).

He graduated in 2004 from New York’s Baruch College and later founded a hedge fund where he short biotech stocks (Feldman & Frondorf, 2017). Shkreli further founded MSMB Capital management and Retrophin Company but then lost millions of dollars in hedge funds. He forged documents to convince the investors that the companies were healthy (Feldman & Frondorf, 2017). In 2014, Shkreli was voted out as Retrophin’s CEO. He then formed Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2015 where he increased prices of Daraprim by 5000% citing the need for his company to make profits (Mangan, 2018).

Literature Review

Leadership Responsibilities

Dalai Lama is a more responsible leader who pushes for the rights of his people and acknowledges the need for peaceful coexistence. Shkreli, on the other hand, is a selfish leader who would do anything, including risking the lives of humans to make profits (Charan, Willigan & Giffen, 2017).

Addressing Crisis

Dalai Lama’s approach to addressing issues affecting Tibetan and the world is humane while Shkreli deceives even the investors to save his image.


Great leadership involves sorting out issues affecting the subjects and taking full responsibility for anything that touches them. Leadership style and characters of individuals can make a leader either famous or infamous.


Charan, R., Willigan, G., & Giffen, D. (2017). The high-potential leader: How to grow fast, take on new responsibilities, and make an impact.

Feldman, R., & Frondorf, E. (2017). Drug wars: How big pharma raises prices and keeps generics off the market.

Goldman, D. (2015, Dec. 18). Who is Martin Shkreli? A timeline. CNN Money. Retrieved from

Lama, T. D., Hopkins, J., & Gere, R. (2005). The Meaning of Life: Buddhist Perspectives on Cause and Effect. New York: Wisdom Publications.

Mangan, D. (2018, April 18). Pharma bro Martin Shkreli is denied minimum security camp and sent to federal prison in New Jersey. CNBC. Retrieved from

Stewart, W. (1996). The 14th Dalai Lama: Spiritual Leader of Tibet. Lerner Publications.

October 30, 2023

Business Life

Subject area:

Company Leadership

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