What can we learn from the Godfather? (Business Rules)

Rule No.1 : Stop acting like Sony Corleone (Emotions)

The author of the Godfather presented an emotional character whos name was Sony Corleone to his audience. He is a good example why a good businessman should always keep his emotions under control. In the movie Sony Corleone got provoked by his enemies and so he decided in the heat of the situation to take revenge. What he didn’t know that due to his aggressive & uncontrolled nature he was just driving into a well planned trap of his enemy. In the end his enemies killed him because he was just too predictable. All of Sony’s anger and energy was good for nothing, in the end.

Staying calm when your enemy provokes you can benefit you in the longterm. Why? Well, first of all you can listen carefully to your enemies words. It will help you to get the most important informations and to understand the situation so you don’t fall into a trap. Secondly, you will become the one who will get the control over the battle back again. Knowledge and control should be in your hand, if you really want to develop a winners mindset! In the Art of War Sun Tzu once said:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Rule No. 2 : Live without regrets and don’t kill Fredo!

The movie the Godfather has three different parts. In the first part we were able to see how the first Don Vito Corleone died in his beautiful garden where he cut an orange, enjoyed the delicious feast of refreshments on the table of his garden and most important while he was playing with his grandchild. Throughout the movie we often see an orange before someone died so the oranges played a symbolic role which found their best symbolic character during Vitos death.

His death scene was a beautiful death scenario. The reason is that Vitos life was actually filled with crime, power, money, intrigues, murder, business, fear and terror. But none of them was important during his final moments. He died while he was playing, enjoying and joking around with an innocent child whos soul was pure and whos mind was free of every burden of this wordly life.

On the other hand Michael Corleone who was played by the actor Alpacino died a very pitfully death. In his final moment he was all alone by himself, alone with his thoughts about his previous life and with some dogs walking around him. He just died sitting on a chair, remembering his poor life decisions and hiding his eyes by putting his sunglasses on like he was trying to hide or cover his soul in his last act. It was like that he was just waiting for his death to come after him.

So WHAT business rules can we learn from a death scene?

Compared to Vito Corleone his son Michael Corleone made a lot of mistakes in his life. For example Michael shot his brother Fredo because he betrayed him. Michaels wife also left him because he never had enough time for her or for his family. He put his business over family and his beloved once. This led him to such a lonely death in the end.

In contrast Don Vito always put his family first and did everything to protect the people he loved. All of his strivings to become a successful businessman were empowered by caring for his family. Unlike Michael, the author of the story let Don Vito be a character who was able to show his emotions and his love for the people he cared in a controlled way. But Vitos son Michael was as cold as a man with an iron heart towards his family. He didn’t distinguished between family and his enemies of the underworld like Vito.

Now its your turn to choose the right kind of final moment of your life by caring and loving the people in your life who are important to you. As we can see in the end nothing of the business, power, money or fame mattered in the movie. Unfortunately, there is not a single one of us who is able to predict his final moment. But we can learn to think about our deaths and try to act in every second we live like it’s our last breath taking moment. We can learn to invest in healthy relationships every day like our life depends on it, if we choose to strive for a peaceful death. We can learn to put higher values and goods like God, family/friends and love over money, business and power!

“A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man” –

Don Vito Corleone

Rule No. 3: Just keep earning Reputation & Respect like a Godfather!

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Whatsapp and the can go on just like that. In todays World we use Social Media to communicate or for entertainment, but we shouldn’t forget that it can also be used to build up our reputation. The way we consume social media & the way we post our private lifes to the whole World can obviously effect our self-image. Is there anything to learn from Godfather about social media?

At the time when Godfather was written and published social media was maybe limited to newspapers and TV-News. Nevertheless, we can learn from Vito Corleone, that reputation plays an important role for your business and for the respect people owe you.

For example Vito Corleone refused to sell drugs. Although Vito had a lot of political connections he knew that selling drugs is something even his friends from politics won’t support because it is a shady business. Just remember Don Corleones words of wisdom:

I must say no to you, and I’ll give you my reasons. It’s true. I have a lot of friends in politics, but they wouldn’t be friendly very long if they knew my business was drugs instead of gambling, which they rule that as a – a harmless vice. But drugs is a dirty business…

It makes, it doesn’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living, understand. But your business, is uh, a little dangerous.

Don Vito Corleone

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