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9 Business Lessons From The Godfather – OnlineBusinessDegree.org

Just what kind of business are you in that you want to model your professional actions after the greatest cinematic mob story of all time? Well, no matter. The Godfather is chock full of great advice, and there’s lots to learn from the themes of this classic film. Check out the nine best business lessons that we’ve learned from The Godfather, or you might be (metaphorically) sleeping with the fishes sooner than you thought.

  1. Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse

    Obviously. One of the best ways to get what you want in business, no matter where you are: Washington, West Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, Rhode Island, North Dakota, is to tailor your product to your customer’s needs. And this works for managers, too. If you want to incentivize your employees, there’s often a way that you can make your request primarily beneficial to them and the company both. Barring using horse-headed death threats as a strategy, make sure that when you want a certain result, you make the incentive good enough to warrant it.

  2. Trust No One

    Whether you’re a bona fide wise guy or not, it’s wise to watch who you trust. That’s not to say that you should be suspicious of everyone all the time, it’s that the only person whose decisions and actions that you can safely rely on are your own. Even being in business with people for years doesn’t mean that you can trust them, but you can trust them to be themselves. And whether you’re running the underground or just the office, that’s another key lesson to learn.

  3. Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

    Well, maybe not your enemies. More like your competitors. It’s important to have a good idea of the landscape of your market competition, both larger and smaller than you. And when there’s an industry-wide issue that could improve your field, do yourself a favor and be the one to lead the charge to unity. You’ll stand out among your competitors while also improving things for all involved when you’re the one to get a group to band together faster than you can say “five families.”

  4. Patience is a Virtue

    Don’t expect for things to blow up for you overnight — it takes time to build a mafia empire strong business. And this advice goes for both rookies and veterans: quality comes from patience, planning, and having a great product.

  5. Always Have A Plan

    When you’re running an international crime syndicate, you’ve simply got to have a plan. It’s not profitable to do things willy-nilly, with no discussion or lack of a business model. It’s probably best to avoid a business plan that involves gunning people down in the street, but appropriate foresight, planning, and action can lead to, ahem, legitimate business success.

  6. Learn from Your Failures

    Failure happens. Even to mafiosos. Let this fact lead you, and give yourself permission to fail. But also let yourself learn from your missteps, as it’s possible to turn any short-term failure into long-time success. If you lose some guys in a gun battle, or lose money from a dirty double cross, you know how crucial it can be to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, regroup, and move forward. Also, what kind of job did you say you had, again?

  7. Loyalty Matters

    One of the most important lessons to take from the Don is that loyalty is key. In this day and age, economic security is a spectre — but it’s paramount to remember never to bite the hand that feeds you. Whether you have a boss or have to deal with distributors, it’s always best to be loyal to your higher-ups and those who depend on you. It’s as simple as this: the better everyone does, the better everyone does.

  8. Respect Must Be Earned

    While loyalty is important, respect must be earned. Make sure that you’re commanding respect, and not just because of your great work product. If you act with dignity and put integrity first on your value list, you’ll see how easy it can be to build up mutual respect with co-workers, superiors, and those in other areas with whom you have to work. Additionally, take caution to respect respect: it’s easy to build up, takes time to cement, and can be gone forever in a flash.

  9. Business Is Personal

    Tom, don’t let anyone kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of sh-t every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal as hell. And there you have it. Michael Corleone said it best, and it’s the honest truth: business is made up of people. People who care, people who create, people who perform, and everything in between. The great thing about a business is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but its parts are people — and those are pretty great, too.

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