A successful business

The criminal activity aside, The Godfather is a book about enterprise and management. Much more so than the movie, which is operatic in tone and by nature of its medium leaves to interpretation the characters’ thoughts and motivations, the book is clear, insightful, and remarkably detailed on business operation.

Themes that stand out include organization, planning, leadership, governance, expansion strategy, defensive moats, regulatory compliance, compensation and resources, training, succession planning, competitive intelligence and interaction, investment and risk mitigation, all in the context of different personalities with individual perspectives that have to come together as a unit to make the business work. And the business has to work, and do so in a highly volatile environment.

Loyalty and dedication figure centrally, not only from the bottom of the org chart up, but even more so the top down. Action is carefully considered, reconsidered, and debated, but with decisions made the team is all on board, and execution swift and perfect.

That this is all idealized and plays in the controlled environment of a novel, only underscores how hard, how very, very hard it is, to build a successful business…

… for the long term, with staying power and natural independence…

… one, in short, that is IPO ready for real.