Managers and mobsters on the silver screen

UK bosses clearly think they can learn a thing or two from the Corleone family's management skills.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

UK business leaders' dream cinema trip would be taking Sir James Dyson to watch The Godfather, according to an Orange survey of 900 business leaders. Billionaire inventor Sir James was considered to be the ideal consort for a trip to the pictures (for reasons that aren't entirely clear), while Francis Ford Coppola's classic 1972 gangster flick was the voters' favourite film. Maybe it's Marlon Brando's portrayal of an ageing leader trying to build a lasting legacy for the empire he created that strikes a chord. Or perhaps managers are drawn to the plucky, optimistic nature of Al Pacino's Michael Corleone, who's always working hard to take the business into new markets and out of its murky past. Or maybe they just like the guns and gangsters.

The survey also found that if managers are looking to make someone an offer they can’t refuse (i.e. a trip to the Odeon on a weeknight), Sir James Dyson was the most popular choice; the inventor cleaned up with 47% of the vote. Although he may be unsure how to take this: after all, most people want to go to the cinema with someone who'll sit quietly, not pepper them with interesting insights, witty observations and innovative takes on old standards.

So it was also a surprise to see Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis in second place on the list. You can’t imagine him sitting still for an hour-and-a-half, let alone failing to bombard you with tales of his self-made riches. And even more remarkably, The X Factor's Simon Cowell was in third place, with 15% of the vote. Imagine the criticisms if he didn’t like the film you’d chosen.

On the flip side, the survey found that managers' nightmare cinema date would be former RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin – although that might be for fear of getting caught in the crossfire as angry customers hurled abuse (and popcorn) at him. Also languishing at the bottom is Gerald Ratner; it appears that business leaders haven't forgotten his legendary joke about how ‘crap’ his old Ratners merchandise was. Admittedly that was all the way back in 1991 (since when he’s rebuilt his jewellery empire under the Signet brand) but people clearly have long memories. As Michael Corleone might say: 'Just when I thought was out, they pull me back in'.

In today's bulletin:
Rich List not so rich any more
Businesses bemoan Equalities Bill red tape
Boots the Bank - coming soon?
Asos thriving as shoppers go postal
Managers and mobsters on the silver screen

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