A Little Attention, Ego & Cash – The Power Trip…
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a men’s character, give him power.”
~ Abraham Lincoln ~
I am sure you have all come across the person who due to luck or hard work has progressed in their workplace or life to a position of power and responsibility, however minor, and that little bit of power went straight to their head… Or the person who is just used to living on the sidelines and never receiving attention, who is then made the center of attention and all of a sudden, they are acting like a “Rock Star”. The combination of a little power, attention, and some cash can turn the humble into divas with closed minds and severe tantrum issues very quickly.
These days my aim is to keep the circle of people I deal with as small as possible, the minimum amount of people involved in anything means the less chances of problems occurring. The concept of trust is something that many people don’t understand, or their perspective will be different to yours because they have their own agendas and loyalties. This is part of human characteristics…
Never underestimate the problems that can be caused by those who are jealous of your achievements or who due to their ego believe they are better than you. You can work and struggle for years to build a business or reputation only for someone who you hired or let into your circle destroy or steal it because they think they know better than you.
At one point when I was living in the US, I owned a licensed security agency in the State of Florida. I was closing the company due to the fact my tolerance for Florida was done and I had taken a contract overseas. There was one high-end retail contract I had that was ending just as my agency license expired so, my plan was to pass the contract over to someone I knew with a licensed security agency who could manage the job.
I was out of the US as everything was coming to an end with that contract and had little time or interest in it, apart from the fact it had nothing to do with me by the time my agency license expired. The guys I had working there knew what was happening and were going to stay with the contact and the new security agency.
It was a surprise, but of no concern to me, when the guards that used to work for me told me one of my old business associates had taken the contract over with another security company. It was not my problem, I was gone… Next thing was one of the guards, who was a solid guy, told me he had been fired and my old business associate who took the contact was working his shifts… Funnily on the first weekend my old business associate worked at the venue a $5k purse was stolen and he was seen on CCTV chatting with the thieves as they left the building.
Then another guard called me telling me he was not getting paid overtime, well it was not my problem… He was another solid guy that had worked with me for a few years, and he promptly quit the job. Now, due to this being a high-end client that wanted guards to fit their image, not your regular Florida security guards, the new company could not fill the positions. So, within a week my old business associate took on a contact, lost a contract, inconvenienced the client and made 4 guys lose or quit their jobs.
I always said my old business associate had the “Faecal Touch”, that’s why he was an old and sidelined associate, who was of use in limited circumstances. He had good contacts and was charming, but his ego far exceeded his capabilities. He would spend money, his or others, like water and if you put a pair of woman’s panties on a chair, he would be trying to fuck it. Typical guy in South Florida, right?
He went from having a very good business, home, family, cars, girlfriends etc. to losing everything including his passport and driver’s license due to not paying child support. The last time I saw him he was living in a garage behind his mum’s house in Little Haiti…
Such people may be useful but you must understand their limits because they don’t. They might see themselves as the king or kings but in reality they are closer to the village idiot. Not because they are stupid, far from it, but because of their ego and their inability to take advice from others, understand their own limitations and flaws. But, they know everything, right? Best to keep on a leash if of use, and set free when your done with them.
For some people just being in high-end environments or working with wealthy clients can affect their perspectives. They can take on the persona of a wealthy client, but without the cash to back it up. Their “Rock Star” attitudes, which usually leads to extreme arrogance can cause a multitude of issues especially when the bills start to arrive. Fake it until you make it usually turns into fake it until you fail! If you have self-confidence and know how to behave, then it should not make any difference to you what environment you’re in, be it a 5-Star venue or a gas station in the hood.
A good example of how egos, attention and cash can affect people was the target of an investigation we completed a few years ago. The target was a former senior NCO and communications specialist in a NATO military force, who quit when he was offered a job to work in the commercial sector in the Middle East during the peak of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This gentleman went from being your average 40-year-old military geek that was coming up for retirement to being an executive earning a high-end six figure salary a year plus commissions and living in Dubai. All sounds good, and it was until his ego and mid-life crisis kicked in…
Boys will be boys and let’s say with him being away from his wife and kids for extended periods of time he got lonely. The new friend he found to keep him company was a very nice Africa lady in her early 20’s, who he not only was taking out to dinner but also to corporate events and meetings. His newfound youth and freedom had blinded his perspectives and his comprehension of his new work environment.
The lady’s race had nothing to do with his employer’s concerns, it was the fact he was obviously dating a woman half his age, while cheating on his wife and living in a country which is accepting but also very conservative. Due to the nature of the contracts his company had and were chasing top secret security clearances were essential for all employees, and this gentleman had “Honey Trap” and “Security Breach” written all over him.
The gentleman was spoken to by his colleagues, but he was a “Rock Star” in his mind and so important that the company could not do without him. Well, they could and did… He was sent home and put on a $600K a year salary for the remainder of his 5-year contract with the stipulation he would not work in the Iraq or Afghanistan areas of operations.
Good deal, right? Well, I got the call because his employer believed he was working for a competitor in Afghanistan. After a several month investigation we proved this suspicion, just as he was going to be receiving a $200k salary payment. Needless to say, his 5-year contract for $600k a year for doing nothing was canceled, and he was hit with a lawsuit for violation of his non-compete agreement. A little power, attention, and cash can make you or make you and break you, it’s your choice.
It takes time to get to know people even slightly, and you might never see them in all environments or situations, good and bad. You must be very careful of who you deal with and let into your inner circle. Just remember 100% trust and loyalty are very rare things, especially where business deals, money, assets or peoples egos and prestige are concerned, no matter how slight or small.
Best to always remember and accept that betrayal will never come from a stranger… Now, no excuses, you have been warned!