What Being Italian Taught Me About Becoming Powerful

Knock with your feet.

5 min readNov 4, 2021


Most people want to be more powerful, in business and in life. We’re squeamish about saying it, but given the choice between some control over events and none, most would choose control. That’s the essence of power, really, and nothing to be ashamed of.

The taboo of power keeps us from talking about how to accumulate it, though, and that’s unfortunate. We could all use a little more control these days, at work and at home.

So how do you accumulate power? I learned, growing up Italian, and it’s a lesson I apply every day. You can too.

The Godfather is the ultimate expression of the Italian-American experience, and among the reasons for its enduring appeal are its many layers. On the surface, it’s a powerful story of the 20th century immigrant journey, following a poor but principled family from the hills of Sicily through three generations in America to the pinnacle of wealth, status, and corruption. It’s also a treatise on the accumulation of power, and — being written, directed, and acted by some of the most prominent Italian-American film artists ever — a note-perfect reflection of Italian-American culture, custom, and belief.

The film begins with an exchange between Marlon Brando’s iconic Vito Corleone and a…



Storyteller. Consiglieri. Lyrical gangsta. Partner, G20 Ventures, thoughts here are my own. https://nf.td/miketrap