5 Management Tips from Tony Soprano
Hollywood took an unexpected hit last week after news broke of James Gandolfini’s sudden passing. Perhaps best known for his starring role as Tony Soprano on HBO’s hit show “The Sopranos,” Gandolfini suffered a heart attack while spending time with his son in Rome.
With some help from David Chase, Gandolfini brought a certain poetic quality to this king of the wise guys. But looking back, many valuable leadership tips can be gleaned from Mr. Soprano. No matter which “family” he was managing, Tony never failed to impart little nuggets of wisdom. To kick-start my brain, I conducted a brief search on IMDb and found these classic moments.
1) “A wrong decision is better than indecision.”
Behind every great idea are 10 bad ones. Perfection is never guaranteed. But a strategy backed by indecision and lack of confidence is sure to result in just that. Lead by example, lead like a boss. And of course, map out the potential consequences before enforcing your decision.
2) “Oh, poor baby. What do you want, a Whitman’s Sampler?”
Leaders don’t attend pity parties. Sure, we’re all human and have our “woe is me” moments but wallowing in them is ineffective—not to mention unattractive.
3) “Those who want respect, give respect.”
Tony’s unconventional business strategies are actually influenced by some fairly fundamental principles of relationship-building. Respect is earned—no frills or long-winded gimmicky concepts here. Are your relationships defined by mutual trust and respect? If not, the end-results can be profoundly negative.
4) “If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.”
It’s always good to throw a parable into the mix, right? This one is a no-brainer because, to borrow another line from Tony, “There’s an old Italian saying: you (expletive) once, you lose two teeth.”
5) “All due respect, you got no (expletive) idea what it’s like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other (expletive) thing. It’s too much to deal with almost. And in the end you’re completely alone with it all.”
Oftentimes, it’s lonely at the top and not everyone is emotionally equipped to carry this burden. As the leader of your organization, ask yourself if you’re up to the challenge. Always be fair and think about the best interests of your business and your employees.