I once read an interview with Warren Buffet where the reporter asked him what the best thing about being so rich was. For many of us, the answer would have been something along the lines of independence, freedom, personal control, etc. Good, valid answers, for sure.
The best thing about being so rich is never having to work with people you don’t like…
When I first read that, I have to say that I didn’t fully understand what he meant. But over the last decade, as I’ve worked with my partners to build our business and my own teams, I’ve come to realize that those words are pure gold. When you work with people you like, work and, indeed, life is a whole heck of a lot easier.
Now, let me be clear. Working with people you like isn’t just about ‘getting along’ with them. It isn’t about being able to ‘hang out’ with someone. It certainly isn’t about being happy with them all the time.
It’s definitely about hard work and getting shit done.
It's definitely about risking upsetting the other person (sometimes) with a different point of view, idea or perspective.
It's definitely NOT about just saying yes to whatever people want in order to 'keep them happy'.
It’s definitely about commitment (sometimes ungodly levels of commitment).
It’s definitely about rallying around a cause of some sort. Common goals. Common directions.
At its core, perhaps it's all about trust.
Too often, though, we delay the inevitable. We keep betraying these fundamental tenets, when really, deep down, we know better.
Maybe they'll come around. Maybe, they're just having a bad day. If I just work on this a bit harder, and am a bit more accommodating, we'll be fine.
But don’t settle. Trust me. I've learnt this the hard way.
Sure, there are times when you can’t make these decisions immediately (for various reasons – client management, team continuity, economics, etc.). If that's the case, bide your time. Plan. Think through your options.
But ultimately you have to do it. Ultimately, the message is always the same.
Life’s too short. Don’t work with people you don’t like.