The Mafia Manager

We read a lot of books, especially books that deal with how to be a better manager. So when we came across this book, The Mafia Manager, by V., we questioned how we could benefit learning techniques used by the Mob. In the book, an anonymous author reveals management techniques from the world’s oldest and best-organized conglomerate. Unlike other guides to business, The Mafia Manager shuns theoretical verbiage and provides a no-nonsense leadership and business management philosophy. Some sample words of advice:

  • “Be sure you understand what your boss has ordered before you act on his command. What if you whack the wrong guy, or bomb the wrong joint…Learn the art of asking questions.”
  • “All problems resolves themselves; given time.”
  • “Eagles don’t hunt flies.”
  • “Don’t become involved in any office political battle without first asking yourself, ‘What’s in it for me?’ and then ‘What’s in it for them?'”

I found the chapter on time management to be most helpful. Actually, I know plenty of successful business owners who use the system outlined in the book. Especially this:

“Take a yellow legal pad and draw a line down the middle. (Date the sheet at the upper right.) In the left column block out what needs to be done, ranking the tasks equivalent with their payoff and urgency.” (V. p.26)

The book is straight-forward, brutally and humorously detailing how to approach life in general and business in particular, with chapters like: Hiring, Managing Others, Raises, Handling Staff Conflict, Loyalty, and many more. One main theme running through encourages that every man (or woman) act in their best interest. My question is, can this philosophy be applied successfully to the “honest” work environment? Could this Machiavellian approach work in your environment?

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