June 15; Loose Lips Sink (friend)Ships
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

twitterlinkedin

Chapter Six: Correction; 15 June

A gossip betrays a confidence…

Proverbs 11:13a

Loose Lips Sink (friend)Ships

Handshake

The two men talked. They were powerful men with nearly impossible high standards. They were discreet. Never-the-less, they took a liking to each other and decided to take a risk. They would trade their inner most secrets. They would share the obsession they valued the most of anything on this side of eternity:

Sales numbers.

In the late 1980’s Wal-Mart and GE worked out an extraordinary agreement. The retailer would link data collected from his cash registers to GE’s manufacturing plants. The concept was simple. As a product was moved across scanners, information was captured and transmitted from the Wal-Mart point of sale to the channel of distribution to GE’s plants. As each item was taken out of inventory an order was placed to reorder. Technology replaced labor. It was seamless. It seemed supernatural.

As British science fiction writer, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, 1917 to 2008, said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

***

An urban legend persists that President George H. W. Bush, the elder, was bewildered by the workings of supermarket barcode reading scanners during his 1992 bid for re-election. He was not confused.

But if there was any mystery it was not the complicated electronics but that two separate companies would trust each other. To trust so much as to let down their firewalls.

But companies don’t “trust” each other. People do. Sam Walton at Wal-Mart and Jack Welch at GE had a personal relationship; a bond stronger than business. Yes, we can imagine that their legal beagles hammered out contracts with iron-clad clauses with horrific penalties for non-performance and unfair competition and disclosure of information.

Lawyers like this kind of stuff. But every manager knows that any contract can be circumvented. It may involve a price. And it might be “legal” but not ethical. A deal held together only with the glue of legalese does not make a relationship.

Welch and Walton would trust the other to keep a confidence. The CEOs of each company knew they were being entrusted with trade secrets that would have considerable value to competitors.

Indeed, the business relationship might even have even a stronger bond. John D. Rockefeller, who lived from 1874-1960, said, “a friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.”

***

What characteristic do employees look for in evaluating a manager?

Trust.

What do companies look for in partnering with other companies?

Again, trust. Keep company secrets.

A gossip betrays a confidence…Proverbs 11:13a

###

twitterlinkedinyoutube

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *