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Why You Shouldn’t Hire Your Friends


by Glenn Shepard
February 13, 2018
Category: Management




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Did You Know?

Couples whose individual weights fall between 101 and 200 pounds are more likely to file for divorce.

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Don’t over think this. Just answer…

Name someone you’d describe as “Two Faced”.

Got a name in mind?

Chances are you have a pretty negative opinion of that person, because two-faced people tend to do nefarious things like secretly cheating on their spouses while portraying the public image of a saint.

When I was a kid, Kenny Rogers had a hit song titled “Daytime Friends and Night Time Lovers”, about a woman sleeping with her husband’s friend. One line from the song went:

“He's the best friend that her husband ever knew.”

Even though I was just a kid and didn’t know of anyone who cheated on their spouse, I remember thinking, “What kind of a two-faced scum bag sleeps with his best friend’s wife? This guy is lower than low. He betrayed his wife, AND his best friend too”.

You don’t need a PhD in Psychology to understand that you can’t be two people. Yet too many managers make this mistake when they hire their own friends.

Supervising friends rarely works because the dynamics of the two relationships contradict each other.

Friendships are based on mutuality and equality. Friends share their most intimate secrets with each other, including things they haven’t even revealed to their own spouse. But managers are in a superior-subordinate relationship with their employees. It is not possible to simultaneously be a person’s superior, and their equal.

One of the two relationships will grow at the expense of the other. Either your friendship will suffer, or your ability to supervise them will suffer.

As hard as it is to find good people to hire these days, it’s even harder to find good friends.

Don’t risk losing a good friend by turning them into an employee as well.

In Servant Leadership,

Glenn Shepard

P.S. In a coincidence dripping with irony, I wrote this article in the same room that “Day Time Friends and Night Time Lovers” was written in over 40 years ago. In 2016, my Beautiful Bride and I bought the house that Hall of Fame songwriter Ben Peters built in 1970. The idea for the song didn’t come from someone having an extramarital affair; it came from Mr. Peters hearing the weatherman saying, “Day time highs and night time lows”. He was such a talented writer that he turned that hook into a #1 song.

P. P. S. For any aspiring writers reading this, notice all the hooks used in this article.

1. The word “You/Your” appears twice in the headline. Any time you can use any variation of “You” in a headline, you increase readership.

2. The first line is one word and an exclamation point. This also increases readership.

3. The second and third lines ask the reader to perform a specific task. This also increases readership because of something called the “Zeigarnik Effect”.

4. The fourth line asks a question, and specifically paints a picture of a familiar person in the reader’s mind. This also increases readership.

5. The first four paragraphs are one line each. This also increases readership.

P. P. P. S. Also for any aspiring writers: Learning formulaic techniques for hooks like these is expensive. I’ve paid over $4,000 to attend seminars to learn this. You just got the benefit of my investment :)

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