Jan-Joost Kroon - From Capo To CEO

Refreshing Business Lessons From the Italian Mafia


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If you would overlook the criminal aspects of the Italian mafia, and focus purely on the business operations, there are lessons to be learned from this international multinational organization for every director, manager, and CEO.

While you probably would not expect it, your company can learn a thing or two from the Italian mafia. These are modern multi-billion companies that cherish their family and friends, and are unforgiving for outsiders. And they are able to keep adapting to new and changing situations.

In From Capo To CEO, you read how the three largest mafia organizations have grown from secret societies and entrepreneurial criminals, to become professional multi-billion multinational companies, whose tentacles reach the highest regions of both the underworld and the world of the righteous.

The mafia lifestyle is attractive entertainment for books and movies, but the mafia business operations offer much lessons on strategy, leadership, reputation management, collaboration, and transparency, for every present-day organization.

Published in March 2022 | Paperback | 192 pages | ca. 40,000 words
#1 management book in the Netherlands
Dutch edition published by Haystack

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Jan-Joost Kroon is a business manager, organization advisor, and speaker who has specialized in the Italian mafia. He knows about the negative aspects of this criminal organization like no other, but he writes and speaks with enthusiasm about the strengths of the business operations of the mafia.


‘Jan-Joost Kroon has chosen a highly original perspective to describe the principles of successful organizations. This approach also feels a bit dubious, because no organization wants to be compared with organized crime. But that would be selling the book short. There are lessons to be learned from other fields, and where others often choose to turn to the world of sport for inspiration, Kroon offers a refreshing perspective.’
Management Tribune

‘It is a book that is fascinating from the very first page. Mafia stories speak to the imagination, but if you ignore the criminal aspect from the daily operations of the Italian mafia, you still have an extremely well-structured and tightly run organization. Most organizations could learn a thing or two from them. The book is built on facts and features wonderful and true stories. But the best part of this book are the practical tips and tricks that the author provides that are extremely useful. More, more, more!’

‘I very much enjoyed this book. It offers a refreshing perspective on organizations. There are more than enough management books, but I had never heard of one with a similar approach. Easy to read and highly recommended!’

‘A book on the history and organizational structure of the Italian mafia. It describes how the three largest mafia organizations grew from secret societies to professional multinationals. The author shows the comparisons between the Italian mob and regular business. Informative and entertaining, written in a sober and accessible style.’
Dutch Library Services

‘It is quite a bold statement: that business can be inspired by the mafia. Jan-Joost Kroon lists the things that corporates and CEO’s could learn from the most notorious Italian mob leaders. These are exactly the kind of provocative theses we like to read.’


Reading guide and list of terms

Chapter 1. Background and history
Chapter 2. The Three Families
Chapter 3. The Organization – strategic framework
Chapter 4. The Organization – operational framework
Chapter 5. The surroundings of the Three Families
Chapter 6. Un pizzino dal Capo al CEO

Inspiration and sources

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