Thursday, October 10, 2013

Allies and Frienemies

Have you ever heard the term "frienemies"?  It means someone who pretends to be your friend but is really your enemy.  I think it goes back to the old saying, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

It is interesting that sometimes in business your co-workers can be your enemy because they are either jealous of your success and wish to undermine it or, they are corporate climbers and willing to "throw anyone under the bus" if it advances their own position.  They are the most dangerous of types because they appear to be your friend and ally on the surface, but they will jump at any chance to undermine you if it suits their own cause.

That is why you keep them close -- not close in the sense of close friend, but close in the sense of you want to always know what they are doing.  If you can keep a close eye on them you can often offset or head off their efforts to undermine you.  It is admittedly a bit Machiavellian, but a necessary thing in the corporate world.

On the other hand, the people you often least expect can be your strongest allies.  They might be a competitor or they might be a customer.  Occasionally they are within your own organization.  Whenever you find one, you should do all in your power to help them to achieve their own goals -- unless of course they are your competitor and then they are probably your ally because of their ineptitude at their own job.

So, what does this have to do with anything?  I don't know, or at least won't publicly admit.  But, it brings to mind a Bible verse.

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."  Matthew 10:16

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