Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I'm secure enough in myself to admit that my two grown daughters have gotten me hooked on the TV show The Bachelor! "Trashy" as the show is, we huddle around the boob tube (maybe even the term dates me!) in our respective Living Rooms to watch the weekly travails of the Bachelor or Bachelorette as they slink through a variety of weekly dates in search of their true love, and life mate. I mean...come on - what are the chances of actually finding someone to grow old with on national TV? It always seems to make for some hilarious text messages between each family as we speculate on the viability of each candidate!

One of the annoying aspects of each season of The Bachelor is that they shoot all of the episodes over the course of a few weeks and then wait four to six months to begin showing them in "primetime" either in the spring or fall television season. Where I could care less about the time lapse, the contestants are sworn by contract to secrecy about who is winning and who is losing. They always seem to want to bust about the latest gossip that their contracts won't allow them to dish. This last season Bachelor Brad Womack found the love of his life in Emily Maynard. In the last episode Brad proposed marriage which Emily accepted in "real time" before she was forced to sit at home for the four to six months and watch pre-recorded tape of him groping all of the other contestants. Needless to say, when we got to the concluding segment known as "After The Final Rose," Emily was barely speaking to Brad! Predictably the wedding is off. He is back in Austin, and she in Charleston.

So what in the world does this have to do with this blog? The basic principles that Brad violated in his pursuit of Emily occur way too often in business. "Trust" is the essential building block in all relationships! Brad was OK as long as his past didn't catch up with him, but as soon as Emily saw what Brad did with the other women, the bloom came off the flower (so to speak!).

In dealings between at least two parties, I have seen the same issues occur in most of my business endeavors:

  • Trust is earned, never given! All parties need to get comfortable with each other on a number of different levels: financially - how each entity is handling the money in the transaction; with communications between all involved parties; emotionally - the reaction to both good news and bad; even with the availability each offers to the other. It is not uncommon for one, or all parties to subconsciously give "tests" during the early moments of a transaction to see how the other reacts.

  • Transactions become difficult if trust is breached! For whatever reason if a party to a transaction loses trust in another party, most often the balance of the transaction is treacherous. PROTECT THE TRUST YOU ARE GIVEN - JEALOUSLY!

  • Breached trust is often unrepairable. Even though the relationship is patched up, a seed of doubt has been sown leaving the offended party with questions.

  • Honest communication helps the transaction trust quotient. All parties bringing their separate pieces of the puzzle to the table in an open, honest forum makes for healthier trust, and a better project!

Emily Maynard ended up giving Brad Womack a poor report card because her trust was violated. Brad may have gotten his $50,000 engagement ring back, but he lost the real prize!

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