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Bad Company

Company, always on the run
Destiny is the rising sun
Oh, I was born 6-gun in my hand
Behind the gun I’ll make my final stand
That’s why they call me

Bad company
And I can’t deny
Bad company
‘Til the day I die
Oh, ’til the day I die
‘Til the day I die

Verse One, Bad Company, “Bad Company”

Bad Company

This blog could easily be about one of three topics.

First, it could be about the English rock group called Bad Company.  And as much as I like these guys and appreciate their contribution to my love of rock n roll, it’s not about them.

It could be about a company that is bad.  Maybe they are a group of gangster types who do bad things like sell drugs and knock off their competition.  But, it’s not about them.

This blog, “Bad Company,” is about the company you keep.

“Rebel souls, deserters we are called.  Chose a gun and threw away the Son.  Now these towns, they all know our name.  6-gun sound is our claim to fame.  I can hear them say.  Bad company.” (verse two, Bad Company, “Bad Company”)

And despite the hundreds of books written warning business people about associating with the right people, “Bad Company” is written about the company we continue to keep.

Germany Kent, an American Hall of Fame media and communications professional, is quoted saying:

“Relationships matter.  The roles people play in your life will influence you, so get serious about who you allow to affect you.  Nurture those relationships in your circle that foster success and happiness, and continuously position yourself among change agents and thought leaders.”

Keeping the Wrong Company

In the business world, we have many opportunities to keep bad company.

First, as business leaders and entrepreneurs, we probably all know the disaster of keeping a lousy employee.  We personally selected this person, invested in them, and worked to build a relationship with them.  Hence, it is understandable why it is difficult to let them go after determining they are a terrible employee.

But let them go, we must.

Next, we have all had the wrong customers.  These are the problem customers that we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to satisfy while not being able to spend time with our good customers.

Bad customers are the ones who are slow to pay, continually expect more than your contract says, and perpetually attempt to connive us into unethical and impractical actions.

Finish your latest project with these bad customers and don’t take on any new business with them

Third are the business partners and associates that are bad.  These are the people you have created a long-term relationship with but lean on you to do most of the work.

Business partners, associates, and alliances (such as subconsultants and subcontractors) fall into this group.  These people are bad because they rely on you to carry part of their load.  Maybe their work is questionable, causing potential legal issues.  Or they cut too many corners, and their work product suffers.  Or perhaps they are just lazy and don’t produce.

It’s time to get rid of these people.

Lastly are the people we associate with, some of whom we may call friends.

These are the ones we have coffee with, meet for breakfast, email, or talk on the phone with.  Maybe you have known them since junior high.

What makes them bad is they have ceased to be supportive.  They don’t speak truthfully but say just what you want them to say and not the hard messages you need to hear.  They need you, but they bring nothing to the table—no advice, insight, market tips, or compassion.

Time to find some new friends.

The Bible

I see the people who are bad company as wolves in sheep clothing.

Matthew 7:15 says:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

The Book of Acts 20:29 says:

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;

And Ezekiel 22:27 says

Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain.

Wolves in sheep clothing have nothing to offer you but trouble and loss.  They are deceiving and are looking out only for themselves.  In Hebrews, we read,

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb. 12:1).

Sin is what detracts us from reaching the potential given us by God.  As long as we surround ourselves with bad company, we will never get anywhere close to our potential.

            To fulfill our calling and to have our business enterprises be as successful as possible, we need to purge our environment of bad company.