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Expect the knife in the back

02 March 2021 Author :  

Betrayal is as much part of business, as is the hunger for success. There is almost no success story in business without there being some skeletons in the closet. The key here is not to suspect everybody of trying to stab you in the back, but simply to be prepared for when it happens. There are no partnerships, friendships or pacts that are stronger than human nature. 

Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar. The well-known story of best turning on each other for what they believed to be the greater good.  You can truly imagine the disappointment in the eyes of Caesar when he utters the words “You too, Brutus!”. After all, Brutus was not just another Senate member but a true friend. Although Brutus believed that the only way to save Rome from dictatorship was to kill Creaser it still meant the ultimate betrayal between friends.

In the world we live in today these kinds of extremes are not too common, but the proverbial knife in the back was born from this event. The knives we need to expect in business is perhaps a little friendlier to our medical aids but attorneys often make more of these events than what it is worth .  We are human beings and the hunger for revenge sometimes outweighs the need for justice or even the size of our pockets.

The simplest and most common form of betrayal in business is from staff members who don’t honour their part of the employment agreement and then march to the CCMA or the likes when disciplinary steps get taken. Truth be told, without a watertight employment contract and meticulous approach to the disciplinary process you will in all probability lose,  even though you acted honourably, fairly and well within the parameters of the law.

Protect yourself from the knife in the back with watertight contracts and agreements.


Pat Pattinson
Chief Operating Officer



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