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The greatest executricksters of all time

Today's BlackBerry-wielding, expense-account impresario may think he's invented the concept of retiring at work. But such executricks have been around as long as people have labored at tasks they'd rather not perform. Following are some of the greats in the pantheon of tricksters.

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt
Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt
Used the considerable tools at her disposal to lead the most powerful men of her time around by their most vulnerable place, including Julius Caesar and, most unfortunately (for him), Marc Antony, whose reliance on her military counsel (among other things), led to his destruction.

Presented with the possibility of a dignified retirement in Rome as a defeated Queen, she chose a very public suicide by falling on her asp, and kept her standing and honor as a heavy hitter in her own right. The current batch of Wall Street CEOs, now disgraced in the sub-prime mess, could certainly learn from her example.
Last updated July 24 2008: 3:43 PM ET

Tiberius Caesar


Benjamin Franklin

Queen Victoria

Ulysses S. Grant

Winston Churchill

Dean Martin

Ronald Reagan

Arnold Palmer

William Jefferson Clinton


Stanley O'Neal


ExecutricksThe central question of every hardworking person's career is how to work less hard while still being able to buy an expensive bottle of wine without trembling. The answer is simple: Retire while still working! (more)

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