1. Start off super-friendly and then toughen up your tone with business partners so the contrast is much like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Do not apply Neil Patrick Harris’s wisdom that he shared in Entertainment magazine about defining the boundaries of your public persona, personal life and private self. Allow perception of the brand and your off-duty self smudge so it’s hard for others to determine your opinion versus when you are speaking for the company. Likewise, be that guy/girl who brings work conversation in a non-work setting to be a buzzkill. To be the ultimate jerk, use exactly the wrong tone in each social situation.
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2. Be as opaque as possible about your expectations. The last thing you’d want is a roadmap for your audience so that they can follow your thought processes. If you breathe anything about the scope of the project, your objectives and what you bring to the table, then you are screwed. In other words, your contract project has a higher risk of success.
3. Do not be transparent about progress towards your common goal.
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Be secretive so no one can help if something goes awry. Touchbase meetings bimonthly would shed light on problem spots such as bottlenecks and are likely to resolve problems before they become too expensive to handle.
4. CC your business partner(s) on everything.
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5. Arrive unprepared to a Google Hangout business meeting. Copy MadTV’s “Drunk PowerPoint Presentation” down to Nicole Parker’s untucked dress shirt but in earnest instead of a clever parody.
|Photo Credit: Imdb.com Mad TV Comedian Nicole Parker|
6. Ignore health permits for promotion events.
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7. Abandon the 3 core MBA best practices. Did you agree on 3 non-negotiables? Like Mad Madam Mim in Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, make rules just to break them. Don’t use best practices that are research-tested and case-study verified. Start from scratch instead of using formulas from MBAs that work. You knew I’d find a way to reference dragons, right?
|Photo Credit: Disney’s Sword in the Stone Dragon Madam Mim|
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8. Don’t say “no” and mean it. Be unclear. Hint in the most annoying way that you object but don’t lay down the law. Undermine your assertiveness by biting your nails or ending each statement with a lilting, “..as long as it’s okay with you?”
9. Go against your business gut. Instead of trusting your instinct and good judgment that waves red flags, supress your good sense. Ignore the warning bells that go off about a sh*t deal or a shady character like Count Olaf.
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10. Compromise your moral compass.