Ten (10) Business Classes from The Godfather

Francis Ford Coppola’s well known films The Godfather Components I and II aired on AMC on Thanksgiving Working day.  The films are centered on Mario Puzo’s novel titled The Godfather.  I have watched it a great number of instances.  But, this time I took notes.  The Godfather, Vito Corleone was a mobster. But, he was also a shrewd businessman.  He owned Genco Imports and trucked goods from New York to places these types of as Havana, Canada, and Nevada.

Below are some of the business lessons I gleaned from the motion picture

one. Create Associations

When a fellow needed a favor from the Godfather, his response was: “I won’t be able to remember the final time you invited me around for coffee…you hardly ever needed my friendship…now you appear to me for justice.”  Putting the criminal component apart, what I figured out from this is the importance of remaining in touch, acquiring friendships, sharing and supplying “in advance of” you need to have a favor.  People aid those that they like, know, and have confidence in.  People buy from those they like, know, and have confidence in.

2. Remain Flexible

The Godfather went as significantly as saying, as good friends, your enemies come to be our enemies and you come to be feared.  Nicely, in business, the enemies could be perceived as competition.  Your good friends can aid you situation by yourself wherever your level of competition fears you.  On the other hand, these days with expanding collaboration, we might be competition one particular working day and partners the following.

This happened to the Godfather in yet another scene when he essential to retain the peace and essential to partner with a rival.  So, the lesson in this article is to keep versatile.

three. Make all inquiries

Prior to the Godfather achieved with his rival, he informed his son Michael: “I want all inquiries made.”  We get in touch with that collecting intelligence.  It is very best to team with channel partners that are in your marketplace, but offer distinct companies and items.  So, when you make your mind up to team with a competitor, it is very best to make inquiries and gather as significantly facts as probable about your level of competition.

4. Make them an offer they cannot refuse

When the Godfather’s godson asked for aid with getting a motion picture studio to concur to give him a aspect in the motion picture, the Godfather informed him he would aid.  When the Godfather claimed he would aid, the godson asked how.  The Godfather claimed he was going to make them an offer they could not refuse.

All over again, putting the criminal component apart, when negotiating deals, you ought to make them an offer they cannot refuse.  Really don’t squander your time or the other party’s time.

I finished legislation university again in 1994.  I invested in guides on negotiating.  1 that I retain on my shelf is Tim Hindle’s Negotiating Expertise.  Tim suggested to place forth your proposal with as very little emotion as probable.  Yet another guide that I have retained around the decades is Neil Shister’s 10 Minute Tutorial to Negotiating.  Neil suggested that “it is to your benefit to existing a better authority from which you have to look for approval in finalizing the negotiation.”

The Godfather despatched his pseudo-adopted son, the conciliator out to California to take care of negotiations.  As Tim Hindle suggested, this person was awesome, relaxed, and collected.  He was fluent and confident.  He hardly ever dropped his temper.  He was usually complimentary and well mannered.  The conciliator also utilized the Neil Shister tactic of presenting a better authority.  He later unveiled that it was the Godfather

The conciliator was ready to share the “what is in it for them”.  The Godfather’s conciliator informed the motion picture govt that they could offer with the unions for him and aid him in other methods.

I instruct government contracting for Ga Tech’s Procurement Help Heart (GTPAC) and we instruct business owners to concentration on constructing interactions and assisting the client and the sale will follow.  The key is to fulfill with the prospect face to face and to be ready with a proposition of what is in it for them.

5. You can do some thing about it

When the godson informed the Godfather about the motion picture offer, the godson was upset and claimed that he could not do just about anything to change the studio executive’s head.  The Godfather informed the godson that he could indeed do some thing about it.  To do so was to be a person.

This reminded me of a mate of mine who is an very adverse, naysayer.  I cannot stand it.  I know I cannot change him.  I can only handle my response to it.  At some level, I might need to have to distance myself from the negativity.  But, this person usually claims, “no, it cannot be done…nothing can be accomplished about it.”  Like the Godfather, I imagine wherever there is a will, there is a way.  Go around, around, or underneath hurdles.

6. Hardly ever notify anyone outdoors the relatives what you are thinking

I love this.  Whether you work in a government company, corporation, or have your have business, there desires to be loyalty.  The work groups function very best when they function as a relatives device.  The leadership’s strategic ideas need to have to keep inner to the relatives.  Communication outdoors the relatives desires to be controlled.

7. Convey to them what you want

I won one particular 12 months of absolutely free business coaching in 2008 when I won a Sam Walton Emerging Entrepreneur Award.  1 of the lessons I was taught was to get in the behavior of saying “I want” this and that when I want to get some thing accomplished and need to have to give many others instructions.  This is a wonderful leadership skill.

Nicely, I observed that the Godfather utilized this procedure.  Below are some examples of the Godfathers’ “I want” statements:

  • “I want no acts of vengeance.”
  • “I want you to arrange a assembly with the 5 family members. This war ends now.”
  • “I want all inquiries made.”

As a child, I was taught to request, “Could I have?”.  Nicely, in business, it is “I want”.

eight. You shed your political connections, you shed fifty percent your power

You know, I have hardly ever been a political particular person.  As a child expanding up in Chicago, my mom was an advocate of assisting the area alderman.  We have been very good citizens and we helped.  As a city planner, I helped mayors, city council and county commissioners’ users.  I hardly ever experienced money to donate to campaigns.  But, I have observed around the decades how individuals with political connections have more powerful organizations than those that do not.  So, there might be some benefit to this.

nine. Don’t at any time consider sides with anyone towards the relatives

This lesson is similar to No. 6 in that no matter if you work in a government company, corporation, or have your have business, there desires to be loyalty.

10. Women business owners cannot be careless

I took resourceful liberty on this one particular.  The Godfather actually made the male chauvinistic assertion: “ladies and kids can be careless – but not males”.  Nicely, we can naively sweep that underneath the rug as a sign of his time.  Alternatively, we can face the simple fact that males that considered this way elevated males to feel this way – and consequently, this style of thinking is most likely to even now exist.

I am a lawyer, civil engineer, city planner, licensed community supervisor, and business strategist.  I have been on male dominated career paths for almost thirty decades.  So, the lesson I figured out from the Godfather’s assertion was that because males might feel that like kids, ladies can be careless – ladies need to have to counter this stereotype.  We cannot be treatment absolutely free and careless.  This is particularly real of ladies business owners.  A great deal has been composed about how ladies owned corporations are less effective than male owned corporations.  Possibly the notion of carelessness desires to be studied.  If stages of treatment could be measured, could it be demonstrated that ladies business owners treatment less than males?