Recovering From Double-Crossers in Your Business

Twelve trusted employees conspire and steal a lucrative contract. This, after you build your business from the ground up and provide them an opportunity by hiring them, paying them well and empowering them to perform.

You bring on a trusted colleague to help run your business, only to discover they are willing to steal from the company once given the opportunity to control money.

An employee decides to part ways with your company and conveniently resurfaces with a competitor and immediately begins stealing clients.

Integrity and Ethics are rapidly decreasing qualities in today's business culture. Many of the double-crossers (DCs) involved in unethical or illegal practices are so blinded by their own ambition, that they do not ever recognize the err of their ways. They will justify themselves to the grave. After all, to acknowledge their narcissistic motives would be admitting they are flawed, and that admission would take way too much integrity.

FACT: Money Significantly Changes Certain People For The Worse
Once faced with an opportunity to take money or business from the good guys, whether illegal or unethical, a DC will cross any line to find a way to do it. When this happens to you, treat it as an opportunity to learn from the experience and move ahead even stronger. Look within yourself and determine what you could have done better, or perhaps what you can do in the future to prevent similar issues. This is harder to do than you think. The emotional stress, anger, resentment and knowledge that the primary cause for your business bruise is the DC, will often cloud your focus. Do not let it keep you from accountability, however. Even if the unethical occurrence is a mere 1% your fault, own it. This is what sets you apart. You as a business leader must remain composed and recognize that your responsibility reaches well beyond you. Become better for this.

FACT: Doing Things the Right Way is Not Easy
Working hard and accomplishing things the right way is not easy. Just ask the DCs whose goal it is to steal your business once you have put your money, sweat and tears into building it. DCs want a shortcut - an easy score. They want a salary to start their business, which as we entrepreneurs know, is unrealistic for anyone truly building a business from scratch. That is just too difficult for them. They will never last. They do not have the mental fortitude or entrepreneurial determination to build their own business. They'd rather just take yours from you.

Get rid of them immediately and then ignore them from there! Hedge your business against their cowardly tactics the best you can, pick up the pieces and move on. It has happened before and it will happen again. This does not mean conceding defeat over a non-compete breach. If you must litigate, focus only on the important elements of your case. Do not get caught up in emotional rhetoric and blow through needed funds best utilized for rebuilding your business. Refuse to be a victim or to put your organization at risk by spending valuable time, energy and money to "punish" DCs for their jackassery.

Mark Cuban may be controversial to some, but he is an unmistakably savvy and hard working businessman. He illustrates my good guy theory in a presentation he made to his employees following an unethical business experience in 2015:


KEY: Redefine Winning and Losing
Just because a DC walks away with some of your business does not mean he wins. Even knowing that he will soon fail because of his unethical or illegal tactics means nothing. You cannot lose unless your mental focus remains honed on their demise instead of your business's forward momentum. Moreover, your attempts to "educate" them on their errs is counterproductive. They will not recognize any reasonable point of contention you present outside their own. This is not our concern. Our concern is our employees, our clients, and our business's health.

After being burned, it is difficult to trust others as you once did. However, if you plan to grow your business the right way, you must learn to empower talented people again. The key is to learn from your bad experience and improve your ability to discern good people from the DCs. Do not let yourself succumb to distrustful tactics like micromanagement to cover your scars.

Good guys FINISH - period. First, last, whatever; neither applies. I can attest that trusting employees that morph into greedy strangers souring your business culture is survivable. We do not stay distracted by losers that suck positive energy and bleed our businesses for personal gain and an ultimate unhappiness. Good guys work harder than anyone else. Good guys strive to do things the right way, owning mistakes along their path. Good guys succeed on their own terms, and pave the way to positive business cultures that embrace and reward hard work and integrity.
Stay the path, good guys!

About the Author: Tegan Broadwater is the Founder & COO of Tactical Systems Network, LLC (TSN) – An executive-level security and investigations firm in Fort Worth, Texas. TSN's clients range from Fortune 100 companies to private wealth individuals, schools and businesses. He is an ex-municipal law enforcement officer and the author of "LIFE IN THE FISH BOWL, The true story of how one white cop infiltrated and took down 41 of the nation's most notorious Crips."