Tony Montana’s Guide to Leadership and Life

This is another guest post courtesy of my brother Gene.  Here he gives a pretty humorous look at some things you can learn from the notorious Tony “Scarface” Montana.  It’s a funny read…so enjoy!

James Lipton: This is Inside the Actors Studio, and I am your host, James Lipton, Good afternoon class!   Today we have an inspiring guest speaker today.  Mr.  Antonio Montana.

Today we venture outside of the world of the movies and into the world of finance.  Mr. Montana was born in Cuba in 1942.  He came to America as penniless refugee in May of 1980.  He had a fast rise to fame as a businessman in Miami in the late 80’s.  During this time period a “biographical” picture was made on Mr. Montana’s life.  It was called “Scarface” after the nasty injury that Mr. Montana received on his face after fighting the communists in Cuba.  This movie even has a scene involving his death as the finale, if you can believe that.  As the saying goes, rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated.

After this brief stint in the public eye with the resulting notoriety, Mr. Montana quietly receded to a private life.  Many even thought him dead in the shootout as depicted in the bloody end of the movie, “Scarface”.  As you all know, in the spring of 2000 Tony (as his friends know him) returned to the public eye launching a million dollar internet marketing company.

To date his 5 million dollar initial investment in has blossomed into a 3 billion dollar company.  Mr. Montana is known for his direct and to the point manner and leadership style.  He is never a man to mince words or “pussyfoot” around a subject.  Can I please have a hand for the one and only, Mr. Tony Montana.   This is James Lipton and you are… Inside the Actor’s Studio.

An Elderly Tony Montana enters the room and stands behind the podium

James L:  Despite all your recent philanthropy Mr. Montana, what about all the allegations of the bad things you did in the 80’s?

Tony M: Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don’t have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth.

James L:  Class, Tony speaks an important truth here, in politics and sometimes in life you can hide.  Hide, obfuscate and cover any weaknesses, if one knows about it, how can it be wrong?  As a leader you do not have that option.  The truth may not always be pleasant.  It may not always be what you want to hear, but if you want to succeed in any endeavor in life you must face the truth, even if it hurts.  Lying to yourself and others will only give you short term success never long term prosperity.

James L:  Tony, what inspired you to have such quick success?

Tony M: I didn’t come to the United States to break my f***ing back.

James L:  That is very true Mr. Montana hard work is often thought to be the key to success.  But class, Mr. Montana has shown that this does not always need to be the case.  You can work hard for yourself, building something that lasts and is self sustaining, rather than simply toiling in the sun digging ditches.  It is all relative; for success in an online business of any sort, hard work and long hours will be required.  If you set it up correctly and lay the proper groundwork, though, you can soon enough have a great passive income and enjoy a fabulous lifestyle.  It will take work and effort but there is no need to work 80 hours a week for a living wage.  Use your hard work for yourself.

James L:  Tony, what about the stories that you are overly litigious in regards to your intellectual property?

Tony M:   You wanna waste my time? Okay. I call my lawyer. He’s the best lawyer in Miami. He’s such a good lawyer, that by tomorrow morning, you gonna be working in Alaska. So dress warm.

James L:  Generally speaking, Mr. Montana has been known to take a more ‘direct’ approach with people than simply sending out his top notch legal team.  In regards to intellectual property thieves he has always felt it best to let the experts handle these matters.  He feels strongly about the importance of IP for sustaining the growth of our economy.  The “mind sweat” people put into creating an idea or concept is every bit as important as the actual sweat people invest in creating a tangible object.

James L:  Mr.  Montana, can you give us a brief glimpse into the way you achieved your incredible success.  How were you able to achieve such incredible rags to riches success?

Tony M:  Okay, here’s the story. I come from the gutter. I know that. I got no education… but that’s okay. I know the street, and I’m making all the right connections. With the right woman, there’s no stopping me. I could go right to the top.

James L:  Tony makes two great points here.   1) As the saying goes behind every great man is a great woman.  Tony never could have achieved his great success without the assistance of his beautiful wife Elvira, or without the assistance of his right hand man, Manny.  2) An education is important, but learning the “art of the deal” and how to make connections and contacts can be just as important.  If you couple this with continuing to educate and improve yourself the sky can really be the limit for your success.

James L:  Since you brought up your beautiful wife Elvira, can you tell us how you were able to attract such a stunning and beautiful woman.

Tony M:  In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.

James L:  Now Tony, that seems to be a pessimistic view of things.  What type of message is that sending out to our young audience.  Perhaps you are right though, after all, look at Donald Trump.

James L.:  What about the rumor that your right hand man, Manolo Ribera, even though he has worked for you for 30 years now, still does not even have any form of a contract.  What happens if you decide not to pay him his 40 million dollars a year?

Tony M:  All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don’t break them for no one.

Tony Montana’s voice gets louder, it is clear he is getting a little angry that Lipton is veering away from his normal “softball” line of obsequious questioning.  He face begins to darken a little as the anger shows more and more.

James L: Tony’s words here say it all.  Often these days too much is placed on the “letter of the law” in regards to contracts.  To be a successful and inspiring leader there are two things that are a must.  Absolute guts, determination, a willingness to risk it all to succeed or as Tony eloquently puts it, “my balls”; additionally engendering an unwavering belief in the people that work for you that you, “have their back” and your “word” truly matters is worth more than any possible monetary gain.  Yes, Tony, a key to success certainly is your balls and your word.

Tony seems to sense the condescension in Lipton’s voice in regards to Tony’s linguistic skills and the veins begin to slightly stand out in his neck.

James L: What are your thoughts on capitalism Tony?

Tony M:  You know what capitalism is? Getting f****d!

James L:  Wow, Mr. Montana.  I really did not expect that Gordon Gecko, “Greed is Good” stuff from you, but I guess you are truly a product of the 80’s.

The Audience laughs.

It is clear the laughter from the audience sends Tony over the edge, veins begin to pop out on his neck.  Slowly it is obvious that he is working his way into a frenzy.

Tony M:  You wanna f*** with me? You f***ing with the best! You wanna f*** with me? Okay. You little cockaroaches… come on. You wanna play games? Okay, I play with you; come on. Okay. You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!

At this point Tony whips out his ever present Toshiba Model M16A1 Laptop.  It seems he has dossiers on everyone in the room.  One by one he begins to fire off rounds.  Delete this bank account, ruin that financial report, file this injunction…  He lays everyone in the room to waste with his electronic prowess, while laughing maniacally.

After having his savings erased by Tony electronically, getting fired after Tony purchases the “New School “and having an arrest warrant issued for illegal documents that were ”found” on his computer James Lipton falls to the ground and begins to cry at the feet of Tony Montana, Internet Kingpin.

Steve’s Note: All quotes are directly taken from the great 1980’s movie” Scarface” starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana and have only been edited slightly to cover some of the “racier” language.

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11 thoughts on “Tony Montana’s Guide to Leadership and Life”

  1. Oh man, this totally put a smile on my face and makes me want to throw in the movie for old times sake.

    Scarface is one of those perfect examples of people loving the villain – the antihero. There’s a certain side of us that wants to say f*** the system, the world is mine and I’m taking everything.

    You gotta have balls 😛

  2. Thanks Murray,

    Glad you like it! I had a hella fun time writing that and trying to work the old quotes into a reasonable “educational” framework.


  3. Hi Gene,

    Just watched the movie a couple of days ago.

    I agree with Murlu about sometimes wanting to have the ‘balls” to be a Tony Montana, but the stupid angel side have to show up once in a while to screw up everything, so no money, no guns and no beautiful wife (sigh!)


    • Raul,

      Yeah, it is easy to live vicariously through people who do things that we would never have the “balls” to do. Even Steven Slater’s actions at Jet Blue were ‘ballsy’ and though I would never in a million years do something like that, it is fun to think about it occasionally

  4. Why aren’t there more fun articles like this on the web? You really made me laugh and made me think, too. Now I get to watch the film all over again.

    • Thanks Lesley, I had a lot of fun writing it. I am still really new to this blogging business so for now I only write things that are really “fun” for me to write.

  5. Ana,

    Thank you very much 🙂 . I am glad you enjoyed it. I really did enjoy writing it and I am glad some people seemed to enjoy reading it.


  6. Hahha, this is AWESOME Gene!
    Seriously epic post that somehow takes a movie I remember as a big gun and pile of cocaine and turns it into a business and life lesson!
    Gold man, solid gold.
    Really enjoyed this one mate. And at least you only have one name too 🙂

  7. Alex,

    Thanks, It truly was a big gun and pile of cocaine movie. I do believe there was an intended subtext about drive and success. and how success can lead to excess.

    Yes, I live a life of zen like simplicity. I wanted to go by Madonna or Sting, but I heard a rumor some people sniped those names before me.

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