2023-11-08 - 3:14 p.m.
I am refraining from all but ESSENTIAL communication with one CEO who is vacationing.
I hate that I had to even pull her in, but there are some things in a negotiaton I need the client input on. Like price.
If that is unclear I can't make decisions unless EXPLICITLY told by my client they give me free reign to do my best with trust.
I have had that before, and its awesome.
And I don't #@& it up.
BUT I don't yet have that level of trust. That level of trust is earned.
In the past when I had that from a client it was because they had worked with me previously.
I only pulled one leader in ONE TIME when I hit a really tough negotation. It was more typically the once in a blue moon text to vet a judgement call and be sure that it was OK. ONLY ONCE did I have to pull in the VP who to his credit still let me handle the negotiation and kinda refused the punt to him HA HA
It was with a really overtly mysogonistic client. I do not use that term lightly. Seriously , this dude was like
"Where is the VP?"
He wanted THE MAN.
The man was so GREAT in his response . He said to me "Oh, I know I am such a pretty boy, but sometimes it gets old... they just want me and think cause I am so good looking I am going to be a pushover. But you know...I am not going to do that. YOU GOT THIS"
It was a $25 Million Dollar Deal.
And it made me LOVE working in support of that VP.
A deal I closed by the way.
AND after I Left that space, it was so validating to hear .... or maybe not.. I mean not good for the company..
It was like that mysogonistic dude was just ANGRY and PARANOID and NOT TRUSTING
I swear the guy had some serious PTSD going on, and angry issues - anger at woman issues, among whatever made him so difficult
and he also did not want to ensure the personnel he was putting on a project actually met the REQUIREMENTS.
I hope the company I worked with, who decided to proceed in working with him ( it was $25 Mil after all) in the end determined it was worth it for that money to deal with such a jerk.
Honestly for me, it is barely worth it. I mean I did it and got through it
SO I was clear in all the red flags. I reported them all. I let them know to watch this dude for compliance.
Thing is , I am rather sure the OWNER of the company may have been FRIENDS with the difficult one, the difficult mysogonistic partner.
I never regretted being honest and calling for support and saying why. BUT... there is a part of me that knows the loyalty of the OWNER was to his friend far more than to me, who supported him for but a few years.
Enough of that. Water under the bridge. BUT it is hard when you see relationships based on TRUST which are then codified in doing business, and see SHITTY contracts drafted by lawyers that are all one sided, just onerous, and without respect or decency for the other party, your so called "friend".
I also expect that from folks who don't KNOW BETTER
and sometimes it serves to just trust and give the benefit of the doubt.
I honestly respect the folks who do business based on TRUST and strength of their own interpersonal relationships and character.
If they are solid, 9 out of 10 or maybe even 95 to 99 out of 100, they will be respected. I do not believe people take advantage and are intentionally manipulative and bad business partners intentionally MOST of the time, so more often than not the relationship will be solid and business will be smooth with services or products delivered decent and timely.
It is the times that doesn't happen that the contracts and relationships matter even more. If there is a strong relationship constructive criticism can be received, and re-do may be offered if quality was not up to par, solutions can be crafted to compromise to resolve concerns. If there is a bad relationship defensiveness is the pronounced response, and heightened by lack of trust. Which is why I negotiate to have strong agreements so if there is a fail, then there is less tension as it is impossible for the one person to feel taken advantage by the other-
But once in a while , one might agree to a BAD agreement in writing because they know the actual relationship is solid so it is little risk of harm. In those cases I defer to decisioning of the boss. But I prefer when the boss allows me to negotiate an agreement hard to make it the best agreement possible, EVEN if they are doing business with a trusted friend. I have such a client now!
Because of her integrtity and TRUST of others, I believe others are trustworthy when they do work for her.
So I can let some things I might not otherwise let go if I did not know that the partners really feel so much devotion to her! Seriously, devotion is the word! They just love her. There are few people in the world like that, with an energy and spark, and I say a love for people, that just transends differences and makes them so loved by many . So I "don't sweat the small stuff".
I still negotiate hard for the things that matter, for her and every small business, because the smalls are the ones that need more solid agreements. It is inverse of reality where the large companies craft these onerous one sided ones cause they have in house counsel to do so, but in event of any dispute they also have the backbone support for disputes. The smalls rely on EXPENSIVE outside counsel. So not fair for them to start with the short end of the stick.
The smart ones hire someone like me and school their BD folks on understanding why it is in their interest to NOT look at me as a holding up of getting business done. There is value in negotiation so they start with a stick balanced, each holding one side.
No one gets the short end of the stick.
Unless we do so willinglly
And this is one of the big secrets. Relationships are STRENGTHENED by negotiation!
I will say that again:
Relationships are STRENGTHENED by negotiation,
because when one feels heard, knows they are heard, and knows their needs are understood and met-
I try REALLY HARD to not undermine that relationship building by interruptions;
I work hard at it. Fail often, but try again, and try again... and KNOW that despite this failing of mine, I STILL develop good relationships through my work.
They respected me and hired me.
I seriously have admiration and affiintity for some of the attorneys I did the most negotiation with. One hard as nails we nit picked over EVERYTYHING because she is a damn good attorney! I RESPECTED her much. I see her in a volunteer role at the professional org and hope some day run into her and her junior mentee at a national professional event. It will feel like meeting an old friend! HA HA but seriously
I mean we spent HOURS in a tough negotiation- again over a multi million dollar deal- over a quarter million that one.
BUT we got it right.
of a deal that when I was brought on felt like it was about to implode-
I may interrupt, but it is out of excitement, not intentional gaslighting. I try so hard to curb it
I let some of it go. ( Like when someone says "some of my orinigal language is not there. I don't know where it went" When I KNOW FOR A FACT I NEVER CHANGE ANYTHING WITHOUT THE REDLINE SHOWING. I let that go... its usually language that is later found in another provision. The person's memory was faulty...but they figure that out. I don't take the bait. I am patient. I give benefit of doubt. Maybe I did somehow make a mistake and screw up and accidentally delete a line without tracking changes? A quick doc compare and both they and I will know. So I apologize and say "I am sorry if that happened, as I never intend and am very careful as would NEVER want to send a change not obvious to discuss."
That is shady when folks do that shit intentionally. OH YES I KNOW When done intentionally too and yes have called THAT behavior out! IT is done when AFTER A call someone agrees but they send a document that doesn't reflect what was discussed AT ALL and makes a bunch of OTHER onerous changes.
Hell that happened once to a boss of mine and she just called a meeting quickly and let the partner go. Straight up called the meeting and said "We no longer want to do business with you, and take this as a breach of the teaming agreement. This behaviour is unaccepable"
It was epic actually.
I admired her in the moment , even though she went over the top reaming them out- which I would not have done so colofully. I think however I get it how she said "They are not being trustworthy now, so why do business with them?"
I still recall the company.
It is a BIG ONE NOW HA HA
Someone suggested I look to them to see if they need help and they were perplexed by my facial expression
I left my thoughts unsaid
But recalled the bad redline. HIDDEN changes. I was supporting my boss as the reviewer and sending out iterations.
She was the signatory on that one and I was her initial ghost editor/writer/ assistant for that deal.
Back to work.
All this to say - I had the thought
" I would rather go through life on the basis of trust and be screwed one time out of 100, than go through life and mistrust 100% of the time and never be screwed but also never develop relationships due to lack of trust. "
or somethign like that which I thought... not verbatum, It sounded more insightful when in my brain and not yet captured before the writing. HA HA
Someone with a deal that went south that cost much might disagree...