Business lessons from The Godfather: never let them know what you’re thinking (part 2 of 3)

We don’t live in the same era as The Godfather. And, chances are, you don’t have a straight shooter like Vito Corleone to grab you by the sleeve and tell you to smarten up, not to share that and to leave prospective partners (and employers) guessing.

Today – in a business situation or otherwise – it seems as though that filter that the Godfather was trying to instill in his eldest son, Sonny, is nonexistent. People all too often are not only willing to wear their heart on their sleeve, but they’re also willing to share an Instagram picture of it, Tweets relating to it and Facebook posts ranting about it.

Loose lips sink ships

We are inherently closer with our coworkers due to this lack of an informational barrier, but that also means that we’re unequivocally just as close with hiring managers and potential employers.

The Corleone family had several assassination attempts and successes – can you imagine if they maintained active Facebook accounts? I can see the status updates now…

Michael Corleone photo credit: Wikipedia

The Corleones couldn’t have maintained their crime empire by operating with such big social mouths – and neither can the average present-day American looking for employment. A recent article noted that 80 percent of employers research job applicants based on the Internet, and 70 percent have rejected candidates because of their online profile.

And if you’re too loose-lipped when you’re in a job, well, that could stunt your career chances as you try to progress. Do you think that a boss is going to promote a 20-something who runs around talking about how drunk he or she was the night before? To speak in 20-something terms, probs not.

A New York Times article from last year outlined some of the outlandish things that people have been sharing around the workplace – and you won’t believe your ears. Topics included discussing how job searching is going, recent birthing experiences and everything in between. I have a feeling a member of the Godfather’s band of brutes would be grabbing us by more than our shirt sleeves and probably mumbling something to the effect of, “Why I outta…”

Get your gangster face on

Now, it’s one thing if the majority of the people who you work with are family – such is the case in The Godfather – but regardless, you still need to preserve a good “gangster face” to all outsiders. As Corleone puts it, “Never tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking again.”

And here’s how to do that (with some helpful tips from Forbes):
Think before you post. If it helps, ask yourself ‘what would the Godfather do?’

Don’t post key information. Live an online life like you’re a Corleone. You’d get murdered in a heartbeat if you continuously posted physical addresses, included where you are or where you’re going and listed personal information like your cell phone number.

Don’t brag. So you got yourself out of work by pretending to be sick, that’s great. But what’s even greater is when you check yourself into the local pub on Facebook later that day. You’re one smooth criminal…

But seriously, a lot of what Vito Corleone was trying to teach his crime ridden family holds true today. It’s common sense. Don’t post what you don’t want seen – by everyone. Be smart. Or, as the Godfather would point out, “What’s the matter with you?”

By: BusinessandWorkplace / On: March 06, 2013 /

In: Business and Workplace


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