The Leveraging of Friends and Spouses (2020 Edition)

By Paul Ericksen on

I’ll admit it. The title of this article might seem a bit provocative. After all, using leverage to impose your will on people close to you isn’t something that most people would consider, is it?

The Leveraging of Friends

First, let me admit that I have no formal training in psychology, nor have I been awarded any certifications in relationship management, counseling, etc. that qualify me to preach on the subject of personal relationships. On the other hand, I have significant experience studying the subject at the School of Hard Knocks University which, perhaps, gives me enough background to have some level of credibility. Based on this education, I can confidently lay out meaningful parallels between interacting with friends and managing strategic suppliers.

Developing and maintaining friendships can be a lot of work and require a lot of investment. The same can be said of doing business with strategic suppliers. Why? Because even though both types of relationships are based on a critical mass level of commonality between interests and philosophies, that commonality is rarely 100% aligned. And even when a lot of time and effort is spent in their development, neither type of relationship is guaranteed to last as interests and philosophies can diverge. The longer a relationship continues, though, the more difficult—costly—it can be when it breaks down since friends and strategic suppliers tend to weave themselves into the very fabric of your life and/or business. If this analogy makes any sense, then understanding why friendships fail is important, since this knowledge can be applied to strategic supplier business relationships.

The best friendships are those where…(read the full article on

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