"The Godfather" | Betrayal

Recently, I read the original version of "The Godfather" and gained some insights into the execution of traitors.

The Corleone family experienced four betrayals. The first was when the Godfather was betrayed by his driver and bodyguard Paulie, narrowly escaping assassination by Sollozzo. The second was when the Godfather's son-in-law Carlo intentionally beat Connie, leading Sonny to come out of Long Beach and be assassinated at the toll booth. The third was when Michael was betrayed by the Sicilian bodyguards, resulting in the death of his newlywed wife Apollonia in a car explosion. The fourth was when Tessio sided with Barzini after the death of the Godfather.

Both bodyguards were ultimately killed, and the other two important characters also couldn't escape their fate of being executed.

The Mafia is very resolute in executing traitors, not even sparing those closest to them.

When Tessio was about to be taken away, he hesitated and asked Hagen: "Considering our past, can you let me go?"

Hagen shook his head, indicating that it was not possible.

Killing Tessio meant losing a high-ranking member of the family, and killing Carlo meant incurring the hatred of his sister. However, Michael still dealt with it this way in the end, which required great courage.

In the last chapter of the book, the author explains through Hagen why betrayal cannot be forgiven:

Betrayal is an unforgivable crime. Michael can forgive them, but they can never forgive themselves, which makes them even more dangerous. If left unchecked, it would be a dereliction of duty to the children, the family, and the entire clan, and they would pose a threat to everyone's lives.

The key point of this passage is forgiveness. Those who commit betrayal will always be haunted by the shadow of their actions, even if others no longer pursue it. If they remain loyal thereafter, that shadow will overshadow them for the rest of their lives. If they don't persist, there may be a second or third betrayal, which is a huge threat to others. Therefore, execution is the best way to deal with betrayal.

I don't know why, but when I read this sentence, my first reaction was to think of a saying in the workplace: Once you've handed in your resignation, you can't stay, even if the boss promises things or offers a raise, you must stick to leaving.

I don't mean to equate resignation with betrayal, but this passage from the book also applies to the scenario of leaving a job.

Imagine, usually people have their own plans or are dissatisfied with their treatment before deciding to resign. If the boss tries to retain them and they stay, it will be awkward in their future interactions, and the boss will inevitably have doubts about them because they once proposed to leave. So, it's a lose-lose situation.

Therefore, before submitting a resignation, you must think it through and be firm in your decision.

As a boss, there is no need to deliberately try to retain someone. It's better to part on good terms, wish them a bright future, and maybe even maintain a long-term friendship. You might even get recommendations for potential employees from them and solve work-related issues.

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