What can we learn from The Godfather by Mario Puzo?

I have always wanted to read and watch The Godfather, but like many classics in my ever-growing reading list, I still need to work harder and smarter to absorb and digest lessons from them. The Godfather has been the favorite movie of the best friend of my Panama-born Godfather-alike. Yes, his daughter and I have the same birthday, albeit different years.

The Godfather, referring 1st to Don Vito Andolini Corleone, is a story about power, family, and capitalism. There are many lessons we can learn from this story.

  1. Plan ahead of time. Be organized.
  2. Focus on our enterprises/businesses/pursuits, be disciplined, don’t get easily distracted. The Corleone family are very focused on their enterprises.
  3. Be calm, nurture Zen-like composure and patience, don’t act on emotion but reason.“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.” Michael Corleone. "Never get angry," the Don had instructed. "Never make a threat. Reason with people."
  4. Be mysterious yet charming. Don’t ever become predictable. Never let others know what you are thinking.
  5. Keep our secrets. Keep our business private. "Don’t discuss your personal or family business to strangers. You never know who will use this information in their own favor, for their own personal gains."
  6. Be polite and always be respectful to people.
  7. Never burn bridges (especially in public), no matter how much we might dislike someone.
  8. Favor diplomacy over violence. "I don’t like violence, Tom. I’m a businessman. Blood is a big expense." ~ Solozzo.
  9. Understand reciprocity as a way of persuasion and compelling submission/collaboration as highlighted by Robert Cialdini.
  10. Give first before asking. Never make a request without offering your respect and friendship in return. "Now you come to me, and you say: ‘Don Corleone, give me justice.’ But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to do murder for money." ~ Don Corleone.
  11. Make offers that people cannot refuse.
  12. Help others. Build our tribe and community. "Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me." – Don Vito Corleone.
  13. Prioritize family. "The only wealth in this world is children, more than all the money, power on earth," quoting Don Corleone, an INTJ type of BMTI personality.
  14. Don’t go against your family, unless one is prepared to suffer the consequences of alienation (or death). “Fredo you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t you ever go against the family again. Ever.” ~ Michael Corleone.
  15. Cherish people. Wisely choose our friends. All people are equal, but not every friend is good for us. Establish friendships out of respect, business, and trust. "Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family." a quote from Don Vito Corleone that reminds us on guanxi/wasta.
  16. See clearly who really cherish us. This is the second part of 知己知彼,百战不殆. "A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults."
  17. Don’t involve ourselves in other people’s personal lives, including the life of a married couple. In Singlish, don’t be kaypoh! Don’t be nosy and learn how to deal with nosy questions from others.
  18. Do not gossip.
  19. Do not give advice on personal matters, unless we are asked and we feel that the inquirer genuinely appreciates our expertise/experience/perspectives.
  20. Don’t make promises we cannot keep.
  21. Learn how to say No diplomatically. It’s perfectly okay to say No to a request we cannot deliver.
  22. Always learn, observe and reflect. Embrace lifelong learning. Pursue also education formally, degrees and connection capitals acquired from top universities are more precious than luxury goods like Louis Vuitton bags or Lamborghini cars. Work your way up into the upper echelons of society. "The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun." Mario Puzo
  23. Don’t take things too personally, understand others’ needs and their motivations, so we feel less heartache. "It’s not personal, it’s business.
    " ~ Michael Corleone.
  24. Understand that the morality of war is different from the morality of peace. Be nice and peace-loving, but do not expect everyone to be so because every person has different backgrounds, some unfortunately start at war zones. "Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than to be loved." The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
  25. Don’t be evil. Even when evil does not get punished by the law, it still suffers by its internal logic through karma/the operation of cosmic justice.

#pandaMnemonic: PFocusCaM (camera to associate with calm + mysterious) SecretsPoliteBriDge Give1st FamilyFriendsTribe NoGAP(G=Gossip,A=Advive,P=unfulfilled Promise) L-e^2(Learn,-expectation, -evil)

See also:
ref2016/godfather_mario_puzo_lessons*.txt

Asia2016/ref.voicenotes.*/*thick_face_black_heart*.amr to protect people who are dependent on us

20160116 late afternoon when I saw JediZ2015 walking (and perhaps simultaneously thinking and strategizing).

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2 comments

  1. […] The Godfather by Mario Puzo ~ since 2015 […]

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  2. […] mentioned about telling 9 out of 10 truthful things, the remaining 1 is the thing that we need to keep secret e.g. the amount of our […]

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