in Management

What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman

These days I’ve remembered a book that I read some time ago:

Mob Rules: What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman.

“The organization chart of a crime family or syndicate mirrors the management structure of a corporation. At the top of the pyramid is a boss, or chief executive. Below him are an underboss (chief operating officer) and a consigliere (general counsel). Then follow ranks of capos (vice presidents) and soldiers (lower-level employees who carry out the bosses’ orders). Like corporations, crime groups often rely on outside consultants.”

– Fortune magazine

The author is Louis Ferrante. Lou Ferrante is a former Gambino family mobster, who spent several years in prison, he invested that time reading and getting an education he didn’t take before, after being released he became a business writer and advisor.

He starts the book with a great preface where you can read an excerpt like this:

“To my surprise, I realized that my idea of the legit world was a fantasy. I soon encountered creeps in legal society far worse than many of the mobsters I’d known- these wolves all hid in sheep’s clothing.”

The book continues with 88 lessons that are grouped in lessons for employees, middle-management and the boss.

This is not the classical MBA or leadership reading, however it will provide you (legal) career advising and management tips with a different approach to business from the mob tales.

A really entertaining and easy to read book if you are in the corporate business.