Monday, March 27, 2006

The Mob: Same Kinds of Management Problems

I must admit I am a huge fan of the HBO series The Sopranos. It is one of my guilty pleasures. There I said it! At least I feel better about myself especially given up until the new season premiered a few weeks ago, I was sort of hooked on Desperate Housewives. For Eva Longoria of course! QUIT LAUGHING AT ME!!!

There is something about The Sopranos that reminds me so much of the cut throat world of corporate America. Who is after who? Who wants to whack who! Who is stealing from who? Who is going "Fired" (upon)! But nothing comes closer to the truth than the people problems Tony and his "captains" must endure.

I had to laugh last night as Silvio aka Sil, Tony Soprano's second in command, had to play referee and wet nurse while Tony is laid up in the hospital. In the end the constant bickering and fighting was too much for the man and he ended up headed to the hospital with (likely) stress induced asthma. I have felt your pain Sil!

My mind kept shifting to my times of working with staff and now watching other companies deal with their employees. I continue to be amazed at how much management tends to get reduced to the simple role of babysitting and adult daycare. It was sort of comforting to see that the mafia has its own people headaches. Of course, when they have an employee problem on The Sopranos they rarely have to deal with the workforce commission as their unhappy staff tends to only complain "to the fishes." Sorry couldn't resist!

There are literally hundreds of unique but captivating messages, lessons and similarities to what we all face out there in the trenches in this show. Whether it's negotiating a win/win deal or how to handle the "competition," there is something in it for everyone. I have heard it said many times that the movie The Godfather became the management manual for many of the CEO's of the time. I have to believe that The Sopranos is quickly becoming this generation's source of enlightened management inspiration.

Watch it and you will see what I mean.

Bring me my gun and pack the cannoli...I have a competitive week ahead.

Ripple On My Friends!

Steve Harper

1 comment:

DivineMsN said...

I love the Sopranos too. Silvio is almost my fave character. I was interested in seeing his wife's response to the fact that Silvio had an outside chance of becoming The Boss. The scenario where some of the guys were upset at paying "up" to Carmela was a good storyline.