The cue ball

Via farnamstreetblog.com   Article

The Four Types Of Relationships And The Reputational Cue Ball

“There are four types of relationships with people: Win Win, Win Lose, Lose Win, Lose Lose. Seneca says ‘Time discovers truth.’ Only one of those relationships is sustainable over the long-term. And longevity is the key to so many things. Yet so many of us operate in the short term. Today. This week. This Month. This Quarter. We want to WIN even if that means the other person LOSES.

… The person on the LOSING side of any relationship tends to coil like a spring, the latent energy building with time, frequency, and magnitude of slight. The more they perceive you taking advantage of them, the higher the odds they negatively become spring-loaded. This creates a negative leaping emergent effect. That’s human nature. Given the chance to punish someone that we feel wronged us, even at personal cost, we will often take it. These outcomes are avoidable.

Biology has taught us that the key to evolving is to be sustainable over a long period of time. We must reproduce. A one-and-done species is not even a footnote in history. … And yet so few of us design systems that incorporate duration as an element. We make them short term. Designed to maximize the short run while ensuring we never get on a path of sustainability.

  • When you treat people badly they will respond (eventually) in kind.
  • When you rip your customers off they will (eventually) go elsewhere.
  • When you rip off your suppliers they will (eventually) stop doing business with you or return your behaviour in kind.

Anyone can come into an organization and start throwing their title around to get things done. We’ve all met this person. This works for a while but eventually fails. And who is interested in a tactic that only works for a short time? Ideally, we want something that works for a long time. Taking advantage of relationships, while it may achieve the desired results in the short term, takes you off a path that involves time. …

Peter Kaufman, who published Poor Charlie’s Almanack, describes this as the Reputational Cue Ball

Non-Win/Win tactics are akin to playing a billiards tournament with a focus on sinking only the first shot or two. Billiards—or life—is a multi-shot game. When we fail to consider the future consequences of mistreating our counter-parties in a current ‘deal’ or first phase, it can wind up leaving our ‘reputational cue ball’ ill-positioned for the next shot—the next deal or phase to come down the pike.”

 

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