Yesterday we talked about technology. Today, people. Family Friends Neighbours Colleagues Peers Employers Business partners Employees Suppliers Patients Clients Customers Strategic Alliance Partners Teachers I’ll bet you can add further categories to that list. Let me explain two simple rules that have helped me enormously over the last 15 years. Rule 1 – NOBODY has the right to communicate with you in a disrespectful way Rule 2 – other peoples o’pinions of you are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS The first rule fits like a glove but the second may sound like chalk on a blackboard at first hearing. I have followed the (expensive) advice of some of the coaches that have coached me since 1996 and 80% of the time I MOVE AWAY from individuals whose performance and behaviour towards me are full of disrespect. Let me tell you that sometimes I have left money on the table: Unpaid fees Unsettled expenses Capital invested Wages due Often, justice and truth have been on my side but I have always walked away from litigation because I have an abhorrence of lawyers getting rich on my misfortunes and no time for win/lose. Every time, I have bounced back in less time than I expected, to greater success. Remember I said 80% of the time. I have made mistakes. I remember in the 80’s being unfairly dismissed from a company. The owner was an ego-maniac surrounded by sycophants. I didn’t fit the mould. I was fired. I felt such injustice that I instigated legal proceedings. Two years and £10,000 later I had my day in court. I listened for 2 days as my former employer and his cronies deconstructed my character in front of a tribunal. They produced forged and falsified documents to support their case. They lied under oath. I did hire the best barrister in town and enjoyed watching him demolish them and their evidence. I won the case. And £2000 in compensation. Two years of stress and time. £8000 down on the deal. Was it worth it? You might say my honour was protected but the people who already knew me, knew me. Since then, I’ve just walked away and sometimes had to witness libel and slander. But I no longer give it oxygen. Remember my favourite cliche. Don’t wrestle with pigs in shit. The shit smells and the pig loves it. Wiser words have seldom been said. As a coach I have listened on many an occasion as clients have bemoaned the performance and behaviour of any combination of people from the above list. My advice is always to move away, even if that means getting rid of an employee or a sub-contractor using due legal process. There are people out there that you can hire to remove people from your business, all above board. My plea is this, get rid of them, 80% of the time. The other 20%. Your kids. You can’t fire them. You can’t move away. But the good news is that their performance and behaviour is only intolerable 20% of the time. 80% is a joy. Tomorrow I want to talk about your support team.