Man. What am I gonna blog about today? I guess it’s responsibility.

I am in a crappy mood. That about sums it up. Crappy.

I don’t want to air dirty laundry. I don’t want to be that guy. I rarely like those guys–sure, I read and follow them, but, doesn’t mean I like them, sure, I like the gossip, but don’t…eh…– I don’t want to be the guy that airs dirty laundry.

I’ll just say this: collaboration is hard. Working on a project with other people is hard. Especially when push comes to shove.

I love collaboration. I do. But, when it goes well.

Makes sense doesn’t it? I love jogging… when it’s EASY. I love speaking in front of people… when I’ve rehearsed. I love writing… when I know what to SAY.

It’s the real test though, when push comes to shove, when the whole apple cart is about to fall off the bridge (yeah, I just made that up), whether or not it’s all worth it.

I’m trying to figure out how to talk about it, without talking about IT. (Again, don’t want to be that guy.) The crux of the reason why I don’t want to talk about it: the people involved are my friends. Friends that I like, that, I think, are being a little wrong in what they are asking me to do. They are being asked by people who I don’t know, and I don’t have a relationship with, but my friends do. Rock meet hard place. And I get that. I do. I’m sympathetic. Sorta. Doesn’t make me less mad.

Here we are. In a pickle. (Really, in a pickle, like INSIDE a pickle, who thought of that phrase?)

How could we have avoided this? Better contracts. And by that I mean, besides, literally better contracts, is more explicit conversations. And not just the dirty kind. But what my responsibilities are. What are YOUR responsibilities are. And think of EVERYTHING. Be honest. Be upfront. Yes, you might be talking with a friend, but, this is work and work is business. Make an agreement. Stick with it. Be respectful. And above all, continue to speak openly, honestly–even if it sucks.

And then, always have there back. Always.

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  1. Posted January 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I am *always* in favor of better contracts. One of my mantras, when the parties are getting grumpy and keep saying “oh, this will never happen” is that we’re contracting against the worst case scenario. Sure, the odds of us needing a really clear force majeure clause, or a stipulation of who gets what paid when and upon what deliverable, or whatever is the sticking point that day in that negotiation, is relatively minor, but when the apple cart does go over the bridge, it’s a lot easier to *stay* friends if you’ve already had the hard conversation about what happens then.

    • Larry
      Posted January 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. Sadly, it’s a great way of thinking about it: the worse case scenario.

      At a theater school I went to, Dell’Arte, the International School of Physical Theater, they taught, figure out how to make decisions BEFORE you have to make one. Because when it comes time to decide on something, everyone’s egos is on the line… wrong time to decide how to decide.

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