Tag Archives: Excuses

Excuses and Uncertainty

I recently encountered an estimator lodging a familiar complaint. “My competitors are bidding at a loss.” Sure, on the surface it’s entirely possible that the low bidder stands to lose money at the amount they proposed for the work. People make mistakes all the time.

However there’s a tendency for some folks to assume that being low-bidder implies low quality. The time-worn comment attending every perceived failure is “What else can you expect of the lowest bidder?”

Excuses and Uncertainty

To be fair, the losing bidders are a bit biased …

Somehow it escapes notice that it takes a lot of investment to produce something cheaply. Consider how affordable cars are made possible through huge factories, infrastructure, and training. The total investment to make a luxury hand-made vehicle is minuscule in comparison. Sure we may appreciate the craftsmanship of a luxury car, but few can afford it. Unattainable quality has no practical value beyond inspiration.

Low bidder could be compared to the winning golfer who faced the same conditions as every competitor, yet took fewer strokes to achieve the same end. Market leading General Contractors (GCs) attract market leading subcontractors (subs). The very best sub prices go to the very best GCs which means those GCs can build the same project for less money than their competition. In some cases the advantages for the market leading GCs can be so profound that not only are they unbeatable, but they are making higher profit than the high-bidder stood to gain if they’d won.

These relationships don’t happen overnight, and they certainly don’t happen from random chance. There is absolutely no substitute for knowing your market.

At the subcontractor level there can be enormous disparities in material costs depending on the scale of the firms revenue. A subcontractor who buys their material by the train-load enjoys prices unattainable to a competitor who buys a fraction of that amount. Efficiencies of scale play decisive roles in determining who will be market-leader. However it’s here, we encounter another tiresome excuse.

“The big guys can afford to call the shots and push everyone aside. There’s just no beating them.”

It’s foolish for estimators to pretend that every company is excellent at all things. Chasing opportunities that are too big, or too small sets you up to fail. Bidding work you know you’ll overprice or underperform is disrespectful of the opportunity and a waste of time. Perhaps the biggest mistake that estimators make is failing to prove the relationship between being able to pick a good target, and hitting your mark.

That being said, smaller firms offer more direct access to stakeholders than their larger counterparts. It’s often possible for a hard-working but small firm to build a relationship with a bigger client than they could otherwise attract.   Not every project hinges upon the purchasing power of a small-fry company. Clients find occasions where the agility and dedication of a smaller firm is worth paying a premium for. Estimators at small firms must look to leverage their size against lumbering bureaucratic competitors.

Excuses and Uncertainty

It takes a lot of patience and even more follow-through but this is how little firms compete with big ones. It bears mentioning that for every company with a huge sign on a huge project, there are hundreds of smaller ones quietly building everything else.

Only they that lost, knew what they were doing.

At the heart of these excuses is an effort to claim that the estimator who lost is the only one who knew what they were doing. If this were true even half of the time, we’d see near-constant business failure across the construction industry. Many of the estimators making these excuses haven’t collected enough information to say what happened with much certainty. Knowing you lost by $X amount or Y% only illuminates a very small portion of what goes into a bid.

Right off the top, it should be obvious that so long as there are differences between the competitors, there aren’t equal odds of success. With observation and experience, it becomes obvious what firm constitutes the long shot in every bid letting. If that firm is yours, you’re probably chasing the wrong opportunities, or your company hasn’t adapted to the available work.

Starving Artists and poorly informed bidders

Competitive bidding proves market value over time. Under-bid work is a self-correcting condition. GC’s who can’t accurately define market value often struggle to be competitive. A lot of companies like to believe that they are delivering a higher level of quality than going rate will pay. As estimators, we cannot allow our firms to become “starving artists”. If you’re selling up-market services, then by all means pursue work higher in the market. If these options are scant, then it’s time to diversify goods and services to meet actual market needs. Every business must meet its customers’ needs at a sustainable profit level. Even non-profit entities need surplus funds to allow for growth, and the occasional set-back.

Winning perspective vs. losing percentage.

Again, estimators must actually know the market value and the market demand before suggesting a structural change. Estimators learn their way around by digging into to every win and loss. The monetary difference is a single number outcome of a huge variety of factors. Estimators face a great deal of uncertainty trying to determine what factors played the commanding role to determine victory. Start by roughly defining the differences in each proposal. Then move on to define what’s “behind” each proposal in terms of sub roster, schedule, site logistics, relationships, market segment, and so forth. Breaking down the “winning combination” can be immensely instructive. The goal isn’t to exclusively look for quantitative differences, so much as differences in perspective. These are the insights that mold options into opportunities.

Excuses and Uncertainty

“After a lot of effort, it became clear that Mark doesn’t see a pattern here”

Risk is relative

Estimators are keenly aware of the quantities of all the building components. One area where each estimator is looking at the same job and getting different measurements is risk. Risk is the potential for loss presented in a deal. Estimators must understand that some portion of the risk in a job is quantifiable according to the strengths and weaknesses of the GC.

Estimating is about controlling risk and uncontrolled risk is very expensive. In some bids, it could be said that the lowest bidder was the least afraid of the opportunity. In other situations, the lowest bidder might be the least informed of the risk they’ve undertaken. Estimators work by bounding uncertainty. Every job could potentially suffer catastrophic and costly problems, but we’re in the business of preventing them. The better we are at our business, the less likely the problems are to occur. Better firms have lower risk. Perhaps more accurately, better build teams have lower risk. To this end, estimators should become very curious about which subcontractors were on the winning team. By tracking the results across the GCs and subs, a picture will emerge of who’s the market leader for any given scope of work. Like anything worthwhile, it takes a lot of work to develop this knowledge. Growth doesn’t always mean expansion. As businesses mature, their ability to do more with less grows in proportion to their commitment to excellence.

Nagging, price checks, and why cashiers don’t win bids.

Some GC’s are prone to assuming that broadcasting an invitation to bid (ITB) to every sub in a five state radius guarantees they’ll receive the best bids that the market has to offer.   Many subs interpret the “cattle call” ITB to be a waste of their time. As a rule, the very best opportunities tend to be discrete because the leader of the “winning team” begins their campaign by enlisting their best players. If you’re a GC who must constantly resort to nagging subs for bids, you’ve probably wasted their time in the past, or your projects are simply unappealing.

Both cases are a symptom of a GC without any sense of who their subs are and what they’re good at. Estimating this way becomes little more than a cashier demanding a price check over the stores intercom. Lots of waiting, incomplete information, and very little money saved. When such a GC loses by an amount roughly equal to their profit, they assume their competition has bid at a loss. This cashier mindset leads to “checking the receipts” rather than comparing stores.

A roster of the awarded subs could potentially reveal an exclusive GC-sub relationship. It could also reveal that the winning GC carried a sub who wasn’t competitive among the bids you collected. This could imply that sub bid a lower amount to the winning GC. It could also imply that the winning GC found the make it or break it cost difference in a different trade’s proposal.  Often, these look too good to be true, so the estimator has to sink a lot of their precious bid-day into deciding if it’s legitimate or not. This can lead to situations where low-value scopes of work are laid on trusted subs even if they’re not the cheapest.

It’s also possible you’ve found an angle to defeat that GC on the next similar project because you’ve got a better sub. Be advised that your precious sub may find their way to the competitors bids if you don’t reliably land work. It’s incredibly frustrating for market leading subs to bid to a GC who keeps a few dullards on the roster to pull the whole bid into a loss.

Excuses and Uncertainty

Protip:  The sub who’s never cranky about the losses is the one causing them.

Faster follow-up

GC’s typically have the benefit of timely bid results from their clients, especially those with public readings. However many GCs would benefit from considering all avenues of information, including asking their subs. It’s terrifically common for clients to indulge in post-bid pricing requests with one or two of the bidders. Some clients believe in remaining silent until they feel certain of the decision to award. Many otherwise honest clients fail to reconcile that they transcended from bid scoping several proposals, to negotiating a different deal entirely with a favored bidder.

Subcontractors are often involved in these rapid post-bid pricing requests which in turn often requires that distributors and vendors be consulted. Everyone in the supply chain has personal and financial interests involved which means things won’t stay secret for long. GCs who can’t get their client to answer the phone should reach out to trusted subs to see what’s going on.

Bid shopping is a serious problem that thrives in secrecy and delayed information. I know of many jobs that were successfully won against bid-shoppers through coordinated efforts between the legitimate GC and their subs. Your average estimator would absolutely love to do their part to hurt a cheating competitor. I should point out that GCs who consistently and voluntarily provide accurate, and timely bid-results on everything they do earn the subs best efforts.

Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow: Marcus Tullius Cicero

GC estimators must understand that there’s no sense in being an ethical bidder if you don’t prove it by acting virtuously. Success lies in being the best, and nothing sets the field of close competitors apart more starkly than the measure of their honesty.

But if it’s the client’s job, don’t they get to change their mind?

It’s absolutely and unequivocally unfair to send a Request For Proposal (RFP) promising contractual award to the lowest complete bidder by the deadline without committing to the low bidder on those terms. Once they’ve fairly awarded the contract, they’re free to negotiate any further changes with that GC at their convenience and according to the terms of the contract. If they want greater range to negotiate with a specific GC, they should dispense with the competitive bidding in the first place.

If an auctioneer accepted an offer after bidding closed, the entire auction is little more than a fraud. GCs need to hold clients to their own terms. The practice of proving market value by competitive bidding is why bids are “free” in the first place. Moving the goal posts to suit the client’s desires after the bid is dishonest and unfair. No good comes of pretending otherwise.

Excuses and Uncertainty

Submitted without comment

 

It takes a lot of losses to know what you’re doing

Uncertainty is the reason estimators exist. If it were possible to simply tot up everything perfectly, we’d use cashiers instead. Estimators must continually switch between deductive (top to bottom) and inductive (bottom to top) reasoning to balance uncertainty against market value. Inductive reasoning starts with the presumption that profitable work exists at market value. Working “backwards” from that market value, the estimator looks for ways to make that happen. Deductive reasoning is the comfortable and familiar “add everything up” practice of QTO’s bid-scoping, and spreadsheets. Both systems of reasoning involve uncertainty, however there is a cross-canceling effect when the systems are properly applied to one another on the same project. In most cases, you stand to learn more from your losses than your victories because the winner gets no feedback beyond the contract award. Losing a bid is a costly endeavor, so estimators should gain knowledge to improve from every effort.

For example. Let’s say you lost a bid on a simple remodel project. Working deductively, you did a QTO, and made sure that all the obvious scope was attributed to a subcontractor bid, or vendor. In your view, the majority of the risk of the project was driven by unknown/concealed conditions. You may have decided that approximately 15% of the shared wall space would require some measure of re-work in order to facilitate the project. Many estimators will provide a bid-directive to that effect to all bidders. Some subs will interpret this to be an open-ended question intended to prevent change orders. As such, the 15% of re-work might well be priced at change-order rates.

Working inductively, we compare the winners bid against our own. Unless specifically indicated, we must assume that their bid was complete, and that the work stood to be profitable at that amount. Compare the competitor’s operation to your own. If the competitor consistently wins similar projects, they probably have extensive experience mitigating the predictable risk. This doesn’t mean that they bid less than 15% of rework. Repeat business is the goal of most companies. Subs who regularly win work with a GC tailor their proposals to suit that GC’s preference. Subs learn what the GC will and won’t consider a valid change order. If some rework will be expected without a change order, the subs will include that work at their much-reduced bid-rate. Lacking a specified amount, the subs exercise their judgment. The more expert the team, the better the judgment, and the more likely the victory.

Working inductively, you might inquire with trusted subs to see how your competitor addressed the risk with their bidders. This conversation opens up avenues to compare the subs competitors and gain insights thereto. Keep yourself open to multiple premises to explain what happened. The rework was necessary in your opinion based on your perspective. Your competitors past experience in the building, or knowledge of the client might have altered your view of the bid-day situation entirely.

Be wary of gossip, or mean-spirited conjecture. We’re working by inferences and deductions that are based on corroborated information. Curiosity, positivity, professionalism, and kindness open the doors of opportunity. Everybody wants to win work, and everybody takes a loss from time to time. Begrudging a competitor their victory is a petty move, which is unworthy of a professional. Take the opportunity to share what you know to cultivate future communications. As with anything in estimating, you never get a perfectly certain view of what’s going to happen, but you can get very close. With time and experience, it becomes possible to see the critical dimensions of projects that drive your chances of winning the job profitably. With good information, the only thing you can’t make, are excuses.

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© Anton Takken 2015 all rights reserved


Relationships and their place. Push vs. Pull

A quick view of most advertisements for the construction industry will reveal a few consistencies in how they perceive their client and their product.  Trite sayings hinging upon “building relationships” abound in construction advertisement.  Taken out of context, these same marketing efforts would have more in common with personal ads than custom manufacturers.

What would you say you do here?

Most General Contractors in the Commercial market do not self-perform the majority of the work.  In point of fact, they’re called General Contractors not builders because administering contracts is really what they do.  As a result most of them lack substantial focus on what they’re really there to do which is to faithfully execute the design according to the contract.  This means that the subcontractors are where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak since the subcontractors are the ones actually building the job.  Interestingly, few if any General Contractors make mention of their relationships with subcontractors when promoting their company.

Luxury car makers don’t advertise the special relationship they have with their clients.  They emphasize that they make the best car,  period.  Construction companies seem loath to admit that they  build what is designed; they don’t get to choose the level of quality, aesthetic appeal, or social prominence of their projects.

Relationships and their place.  Push vs. Pull

“Dang it Carl, I said move the Church AFTER the wedding.”

Put your back into it.

So what is a client getting when they call a GC?  Mostly they’re getting risk management, project control, contract administration, and subcontractor “pull”.  “Pull” in this sense is the market value of that particular GC to any given group of subcontractors.  GC’s with a reputation for not paying their subcontractors have less pull than better GC’s.  There’s a lot that goes into your pull.  For example, if a GC has been on a losing streak, they’ll lose pull with subcontractors.  GC’s that chase bad clients will lose pull with subcontractors.

Bringing focus back to estimating, the amount of pull you can generate has a lot to do with how you handle your bids.  For most subs, the only thing they have to go on is how you communicate with them.

Like a lot of things in life, it’s the outcome that matters not the intent.  Some folks get hung up on sending everyone the exact same message, without actually pausing to consider how that reads to an individual.

Bid invitations are a good example of this.  It’s fast and uniform to send everyone on the bid list the exact same message.  Often these invites cover a few key points like the deadlines, site walks, and such while excluding individual trade-level details for fear of it not applying to all recipients.  It’s pathetic how frequently invitations to bid fail to evoke any enthusiasm for the project, the client, or the opportunity.  Mostly they’re a bland memo directing the bidders through the GC’s particular brand of bureaucracy.  When coupled with bid-letting services, these invitations can end up appended to a “do not reply” email that conceals everything from the recipient until they summit the mountaintop of logins, sales pitches, and file downloads.

Relationships and their place.  Push vs. Pull

As an outcome, this is counterproductive to pulling subcontractors towards the opportunity the estimator is pursuing.  A great deal of what’s wrong in business relationships comes down to pushing when it would be better to pull.

Design relationships

Design teams fall victim to this process as well.  Traditionally, the Architect brought all the engineering disciplines together to develop a cohesive and thorough plan.  Like most industries, the concept of compartmentalization rose to the fore and now its common practice for a project to have a long roster of design consultants working in degrees of isolation from one another.

I don’t know what’s existing and neither do you, but it won’t be me that pays.  It’ll be you.

Projects that must refer to existing conditions are often riddled with notes declaring that all bidders have tacitly accepted responsibility for field verification of unknowable items.  These “gotcha” requirements are used in lieu of consultants making their own site inspection and designing accordingly.

Site inspections,  coordination meetings, and construction oversight are sometimes viewed as “add alternates” to the design package.  Clients often accept or decline these services based on their budget, schedule, and professional proclivities.  Clients pre-disposed to “hurry up” work can’t spare the time for consultants to fully fledge their designs.  Noteworthy examples are property managers pushing for Tenant Improvement projects that close the deal on a lease.

To the client, the savings in design fees and duration may appear worthwhile until the market pricing reflects the additional risk imposed by an incomplete design.  During market slumps, these clients use competitive bidding to flesh out the issues with the design which they ask bidders to solve.  Once they’ve got the answers, they incorporate them via addendum and put it back out to bid.

There’s no time to do it right the first time, but we’ll find time to do it again.

This “refine-design-by-bid” tactic initiates an unfortunate dynamic in the market.  Bidders who’ve invested in “helping” the client are rewarded with several costly rounds of bidding before the project goes to contract.  They know that rolling these expenses into their next proposal will all but guarantee a loss.  They also know that every answer they provide will be used to assist their competitors in arriving at a complete proposal.  Every round of bidding further diminishes the profitability of the project.  For some bidders the “solution” is to seek recompense in overpriced change orders.

This adversarial attitude angers clients who feel they invested heavily to see their project happen and feel exploited by greedy build teams.  Clients who’ve weathered this experience often arrive at the next bid with an enthusiastic commitment to pound out the issues before they sign another contract. Very rarely do they see the connection between “refine by bid” and overpriced change orders.

Perhaps the most frustrating observation to offer here is that the total pre-construction cycle on “hurry up” projects often end up matching the duration of having it properly designed in the first place.  Complete designs mitigate change orders, and bidding once restores profitability for the build team.  There’s more incentive to actually finish the job quickly when it’s clear the only profitable path is efficiency.   A critical aspect here is that clients need to comprehend that a request for proposal is supposed to be a commitment to actually hire the winning bidder.  Distorting the pre-construction process by eliciting free design help and  re-bidding is communicating a very one-sided  and unethical view of the Client-GC relationship.  It’s unreasonable to expect fair and ethical treatment when it’s not reciprocated.

Bringing this back to relationships it’s worth pointing out that departures from traditional responsibilities can’t and won’t happen without consequences.  Pushing off design responsibilities onto the build team will corrupt their relationships with the work and with each other. It also serves to alter the consultants relationship with the project in that they move away from taking responsibility for their design and move towards evading liability for every conceivable issue.  If consultants aren’t given sufficient time and opportunity to inspect existing site conditions, they tend to think there’s little alternative but to pass the buck.

Relationships and their place.  Push vs. Pull

Engineers haven’t been the same since we took the trains away from them…

Professional conduct

Much of the hijinks mentioned above is more prevalent during recessions than at other times.  Given the choice, most professionals would rather pursue legitimate work that offers sufficient time and opportunity to do a good job.  GC’s are by definition, subcontracting the bulk of the work they bid. Viewing the Construction Documents (CD’s) as a liability, many estimators believe their role is to ensure that every scope item is included in one of the subcontracts.  When the focus is exclusively covering your hind end, it’s easy to miss opportunities to better understand where the subcontractors are coming from.  Subcontractors bidding to notorious cowards will be reluctant to offer insights into how discrepancies in the plans may offer opportunities to win.

Opportunity may only knock once

GC estimators that don’t dig in and really make the effort to know what’s going on with a project are constantly caught flat-footed when subcontractors call with questions. Whether its incompetence, cowardice, or a lack of commitment, the result is the same; subcontractors will take their best ideas to wherever they’ll profit the most.  In practical terms that can mean competing GC’s will get better pricing or it could mean that subcontractors make tough decisions about how best to “play” the situation.

For example, I’ve encountered situations where subcontractors choose to take a chance on a scope discrepancy without telling the GC estimator because they had proven themselves to be unwilling and/or unable to take a measured risk. Since the subcontractor can’t rely on protection from the GC if their gambit doesn’t work, they hedge their bet by keeping a goodly portion of the potential savings.

Don’t be an obstacle to success

The GC estimator rolls into the bid carrying that subcontractor because they’re lower than their competitors but fails to fully capitalize on what that subcontractor relationship has to offer them.  The relationship becomes more about what the subcontractor can achieve despite the GC estimator than what the team can accomplish together.  It’s a short leap from not sharing the bounty achieved through special insight, to purposely working on deals to exploit weak GC estimators.  Subcontractors who view themselves as king-makers aren’t likely to be positive force in the market.  This is how they get their start.

“I don’t know what this is, what do I do?”

None of which is to say that a GC Estimator can’t rely upon their subcontractor relationships to help them with issues and scope items they don’t fully understand.  Skilled trades require an incredible amount of specialized knowledge that a GC estimator couldn’t be expected to possess.

There is however a difference between blind leadership, and taking the council of trusted allies.  The GC estimator should be consulting with trusted subcontractors on scope items they don’t understand with the goal of building a working knowledge of the issues involved.   It’s an odd thing but it’s often possible to change the dynamic of a bad relationship by asking for help in understanding what the other person is facing.   Be a good student and retain what you’ve learned to earn a reputation as a consummate professional.  Before long you’ll likely encounter a situation where you’re relating something you’ve learned to a bidder thereby re-paying the market for its investment in your education.  Keep that in mind the next time you hear a “dumb” question.

Once again, there’s greater benefit to all concerned when professionals actively seek out responsibility to pull the project forward rather than pushing responsibility for incomplete work down the line.

Civilization is in retreat because it’s become unfashionable to do the right thing.

Understanding the critical relationship between quality outcomes and individual professionalism at every stage is the metaphorical keystone supporting the project arch.   Every buck that’s passed get’s a “vig” tacked on and when the bill comes due (and it will) the project will pay.  It’s important to break from thinking of your task as being done in a small room with a door in and a door out.  What gets passed down the line matters.  Many projects with supernaturally bad design teams get built anyway.  Just because someone passed the buck to you, doesn’t mean you must pass it on in turn.  An estimator converts the nebulous construction documents into a real and enforceable, construction contract. Some Project Managers have a well-earned disdain for estimators who’ve bound them to build a disaster with a schedule and a budget. Don’t be that guy.

Actions have consequences, make certain that you are pulling in the right direction and that everyone “downstream” is as well.  Project Management needs to keep the promises made at the bid stage, and they need to ensure subcontractors hold up their end as well.  Otherwise subcontractors may again “game” the estimator knowing they can exploit Project Management once they’ve slipped past the bid stage.

What does the client care about?

An awful lot is put out about when to invest in this or that.  Terms like “Value” become little more than boardroom chaff.  In reality the client is very concerned with value, however what they value isn’t always so obvious.  Answering questions and making them feel good about their purchase may be contingent for a sale however it’s not what they THINK they’re paying for.  In fact, most of the talking, drawing, thinking, and demonstrating doesn’t really factor into their concept of what they’ve hired you to do.

What they see

To the client, actually making the thing is where the magic happens.  Those are the skills they imagine they’re paying you for.  Since they perceive your pre-construction time as “free” they indulge in every tangential thought that comes to mind.  During a project they perceive the job site to be chock-full of workers and materials so changing this or that seems easier than if they imagined that change as a separate job going out to bid.  Design teams are keenly aware that their mistakes, oversights, and mis-communications are costing time and money.  During construction the client typically views the design team more as an adviser and quality control enforcer than anything else.  GC’s’ are generally loath to expose design team shortcomings for fear of retribution.   Diplomatic efforts to price necessary change orders stemming from design shortfalls can devolve into bickering about cost legitimacy versus design integrity.

The client and design team camp may shake their heads at the gall of the build teams prices while the build team shares their exasperation with projects that are changing direction while the clock runs out.

The pattern of pushing project responsibility down the line without each tier pulling their own weight is the root cause.  Returning to the opening of this article; “Building relationships” need not be a vacuous and misdirected approach to success.  Clients are not in a position to actually know that decisions to short-change a fully developed design will cause the problems they sought to avoid by hiring a design professional if nobody has the courage to tell them so.

Relationships and their place.  Push vs. Pull

“Sure you’re attracting lots of attention, I’m just saying you might take a different route next time”

 Making mediocrity acceptable through placation, participation, and proliferation of stupidity is not “worth it if you get the job”.  Lowering standards and passing the buck are the stock in trade of hacks.  Blurring the line between hacks and pros from the clients perspective represents a strong deterrent to future business.

Be better, be honest, and don’t be afraid to speak up.

 It’s in everyone’s best interest to speak truthfully with the client.  Many incomplete designs are put to bid by design teams who are deeply (and silently) frustrated by the client’s miserly haste.  GC estimators often succumb to pressure from marketing and pre-construction directors to bid risky designs.  Pushing rather than pulling.  If instead the GC Estimator took the opportunity to present solutions before bidding, they might persuade the client to make changes that profoundly improve their odds of an ideal outcome.  At worst, the estimator could articulate the issues that could hurt the client, pulling them in the right direction.

Now it’s time to bring this all back to relationships.  In my experience, there’s a contingent of dubiously moral folks in the market who rely on “relationships” to cover or offset the fact that they’re neither a good value, nor a market leader.  They are “connected” and often use their connections to exploit or extort the industry.  It’s foolish and dangerous to allow these people to “do you a favor” because they’ll be sure to demand what you “owe” them.  Working around them will incur their wrath as well.  It’s bad business wherever they’re involved so pick your path with care.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the people who are a veritable institution of good value, straight dealing, and integrity.  It’s a privilege to work with these rare individuals.  The sad truth is that they are rare no matter how common it is to read an advertisement extolling these virtues.  I hope this article has inspired you to choose that legacy for yourself.

 

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© Anton Takken 2014 all rights reserved