Lessons from The Godfather: Sonny and Impulse Control

impulse control

I see it a lot in the construction and engineering industry.  Low impulse control.  It’s partly due to how technical folks’ brains are hard-wired.  Except for hard-core designers, impulse control is usually relatively low.  Lower impulse control can be problematic in several ways.   It’s a very reactive business.  Many people have a chaos or reactive management profile (low impulse control, high stress tolerance).

Another profile that is prevalent is the “chases shiny objects” profile, which is high flexibility and lower impulse control.  These folks start many things, but finish far fewer things.  They go from one thing to the next.

Another profile we see quite a bit is frustration, impatience or anger profile (lower impulse control coupled with high assertiveness)

Do you have a tendency to fly off the handle, feel frustrated?  Are you a road rage person?  Do you fire off emails that you probably shouldn’t?  These are indicators that your impulse control may not be where you want it to be. If you have these tendencies, you can do something about it.  You can work to raise your impulse control and work on empathy, which will lower your assertiveness and make you less volatile.

All of these problematic emotional profiles have lower impulse control in common.  

Check out our new website, http://www.change-u.com for more information on how to evaluate yourself and get the resources to improve your impulse control.

If you want to see impulse control (or lack thereof) in action, all you have to do is look at Sonny.  In every scene, Sonny is eating, drinking, smoking, fighting, speaking when he shouldn’t speak, or upstairs with the bridesmaid.  He is the poster boy for lack of impulse control.  Here is Sonny after learning that his brother-in-law beat up his sister.  Warning:  It is very violent!


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