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Posted on: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Famous dialogs from Godfather, which is one of my all time favorite books and movies, form the foundations of business and management.

Take for instance this dialog for example spoken by the Drug Mafia, Sollozzo:

''I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman. Blood is expensive.''

Taking the crime aspect of it out of the statement, the point, is a compelling one: when you grow, you give up stuff.

The aspect of giving stuff up as you grow holds true in virtually anything you do, particularly management and leadership.

Grow as a leader and you end up giving up stuff like:

  1. Drama (No shouting or public intimidation even if you are on the right side of the situation).
  2. Power (No use of power to make them them work late or to do that classic "push").
  3. Politics (No bitching. No whining).
  4. Insecurities (No information hoarding. No blind copied emails, no blind forwards, no keeping records of chat conversations and then forwarding them to irrelevant people. No randomly including new people in email trails to embarrass the ones who started it.)

The list of stuff you need to give up in order to lead with conviction is long but the point is short and simple:

If you want to lead you need to give up on your pettiness and believe in a cause that's larger than you.

I am not talking morals, ethics, emotional maturity or general goodness here.

What I am talking about is simple *economics* of leadership.

Take the godfather dialog for instance, translate it to the context of leadership and it will quiet literally translate to:

''We don't like pettiness. Pettiness is expensive.''

Like it or not, if your organization or team wants to indulge in meaningful leadership people need to drop their pettiness.

And you know it has to start with you.