At first you may chuckle at Leadership Sopranos Style: How to Become a More Effective Boss (Dearborn).
“Part of the appeal of [Tony’s] style is that it gets results,” explains author Deborrah Himsel, a vice president at Avon Products. Uh, yeah. And fast.
But read on. The T-Man’s got lessons for everyone, not just Jersey guys in the waste removal business.
STRUCTURE. Tony keeps his gang’s structure simple, clear, and “as flexible as a Bada Bing dancer.” Himsel includes a Sopranos org chart and a quiz to help readers evaluate their own corporate structures. For example, “If you were trying to schedule a ‘hit’ on one of your competitors, how fast could you assemble and free the right group of people?”
THE VALUE OF FEEDBACK. In a chapter called “Give it to My Face,” Himsel recalls the early episode when Tony tells his henchmen about the fainting spells and hallucinations that drove him to a therapist. Tony invites feedback, but makes it clear that it’s a one-time offer, never to be discussed again. Himsel applauds Tony for “humanizing himself” and admitting vulnerability.
MAKING TOUGH CALLS. In one of her best chapters, “Ten Tough Choices,” Himsel discusses what we can learn from T’s most challenging decisions. Even if you’ve never burned down a friend’s restaurant (for his own good, see) or wanted to whack your daughter’s soccer coach, you’ll appreciate Himsel’s thoughtful analysis. One thing for sure about this boss: He never hides behind a PowerPoint presentation.