Endings and Beginnings

Posted by Doc
Feb 11 2008

From Teamwork Is An Individual Skill by Christopher Avery:

I won’t pretend we can do much to avoid endings. They are as inevitable as beginnings. But I have observed that we can improve the quality of endings by avoiding three things:

  1. Burning bridges
  2. Harming reputations
  3. Being inhumane to oneself and others

Reading this took me back to the first time I was an owner of a company. I had a partner, Duane Roberts, who is 12 years older than me. Our company was what would be called an outsource software developer these days, based in Silicon Valley. We had one customer who was becoming very troublesome and obnoxious.

I wanted to just cut them off and tell them what I thought of them.

Duane said “don’t burn your bridges – you never know when it’ll come back to bite you.”

Wise man, Duane.

It’s so easy to leave the intimacy of a team, relationship, environment and figure you’re just done. “Ah, hell, I’m gone – I don’t have to worry about being nice anymore!”

Not so. You never know when someone you used to work with will be in a position to make a difference in your life or career.

The golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated (my phrasing).

The platinum rule: treat others as they would like to be treated (also my phrasing).

I don’t know of any rules that say “treat others like crap.”

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