3 Business Tips ‘the Godfather’ Taught Me

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Parking the crime and violence elements to one side, gangster movies offer the business world some great lessons. The Godfather Trilogy, for example, covers topics such as competitive strategies, key personnel retention, corporate succession and long-term corporate diversification.

The movies are intensely entertaining, packed with thrilling and quotable scenes that highlight the importance of understanding your competition, and why relationships and building networks matter. Here are my top three lessons from the Godfather movies.

1. Surround yourself with trustworthy, skilled people

Robert Duvall’s character Tom Hagen is the perfect example of the capable “right-hand man” The adopted brother in the Corleone family proves invaluable in many ways. Not only is he loyal, but importantly also that he knows what he’s doing. He’s the sort of person you want in your inner circle. Look for people like Tom. The right culture will attract the right people, that will go the extra mile.

2. Build a powerful community

“Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me”.

The words of Vito Corleone, uttered in the iconic rasp of Marlon Brando, illustrate how he creates a loyal community among those he has helped. By granting favours and helping people with their problems, the Don builds a network of influence. Although these relationships may or may not deliver a specific or quantifiable return, all serve to strengthen his power base and have the potential to be reciprocal in the long run.

3. Keep an eye on the competition

“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”

Though keeping close relations with your business partners is essential, it is equally important to keep a close eye on the competition. Analyse your competitors and identify their strengths and weaknesses so that you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

The Godfather is a classic and worth watching.  In some ways, it can relate back to the world of recruitment, as it comes with its own fights. Communities, competition and skilled people are key to make more placements and offer better candidate engagement.

What are the favourite lessons you learned from a movie? Why not share them with me on stuart.johnson@bullhorn.com.

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