Author: Pat Pattinson

Betrayal in business is as much part of business as is the hunger for success. There is almost no success story in business without their being some skeletons in the closet. The key is not to suspect everybody of betraying you, but 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.

We all know a story of best friends turning on each other believing it to be for the greater good. One 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 the only way to save Rome from dictatorship was to kill Creaser. It was still the ultimate betrayal between friends. Today these kinds of extremes are not to common, but the proverbial knife in the back was born from this event. The knives we 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 as, again 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 stems from staff members who don’t honour their part of the employment agreement. They often march to the CCMA or the similar when disciplinary action is taken. Without a water tight employment contract and meticulous approach to the disciplinary process, you will in all probability loose despite the fact that 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.