Agreements by their nature are meant to set boundaries. We start with something easy, something verbal, perhaps a handshake and expect that each party will act in a way that benefits both.
Clients or employees, friends or customers, spouses, neighbors, our children’s teachers are expected to act in accordance with this standard that starts with a smile or a handshake.
And then something changes.
Your business partner doesn’t act in a way you think is appropriate.
Your client doesn’t follow through on a commitment or changes the scope dramatically.
Your daughter’s coach plays favorites and your daughter isn’t getting playing time in her soccer match.
Then the agreements become written and the rules change.
The agreement isn’t written for setting standards for everyone to win, they are made for that day when the friendship, partnership, alliance, or relationship go south.
But what benefit is there to getting a written agreement with someone who has shown a lack of integrity in the past?
You might have legal recourse but that won’t change the feeling of betrayal, or anger. It won’t save you any money when you find yourself talking to your attorney (which just fuels the anger).
Leopards spots don’t change and neither do people that believe in acting without regard to the relationships, promises and agreements they make.
Verbal or written agreements won’t change that person’s actions.
Associating your business or yourself with people without character won’t help you in the long run, it will hurt that one thing you count on ….. your good name.
Randy Eickhoff, CPA is President of Acena Consulting. With more than 20 years of tax and consulting experience, Randy focused on helping companies successfully document and secure tax incentives throughout the US. He has been a long-time speaker nationally as well as conducted numerous training sessions on R&D tax credits and other US tax incentives.