Business Sharks vs Dolphins

by Christopher Sherrod

In the last year I broke off associating with or doing business with sharks in business.

About a year ago I had a falling out with two separate sharks one day after another that was not pleasant. I just had enough of the backstabbing, lack of communication and lying.

I started focusing on people I like and that I thought were honest.

SuperMensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon

I started focusing on being a mensch which is Yiddish for good friend. I wanted to be a SuperMensch. I watched a documentary called SuperMensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon. It’s about Shep a successful businessman who strived to make every business deal a win-win-win. For instance, when a celebrity friend wanted to get married at his home in Hawaii but didn’t want the aggressive paparazzi to ruin the day, he created a deal where everyone won. Shep made a deal with one of the photographers to come in and take one photo of the happy couple, make sure other photographers didn’t barge in and give a part of what the photographer would make off the photo to a local charity. That’s a win-win-win.

Thru my publishing company I’m publishing transformational books that help a related charity. Plus we plant a bunch of trees for each book launch. The client wins, my company wins, a related charity wins plus the earth wins.

I also started having mastermind dinners at my home with people that I meet in business that I thought were cool. Just like-minded people getting together to eat and talk business. The focus is how we can help each other. So many connections were made that people asked me to continue them on a regular basis.

Dolphins are people that want to do business with you for the good of everyone. Where we are going for a win-win-win scenario.

My rather unhappy experiences dealing with sharks is that they try to work around you on deals. Talk bad about you at a business event within earshot of you. Backstab. Posture and lie about how successful they are and talk bad about people to posture themselves as being more successful.

Even sharks don’t trust sharks. If you are a shark you swim along afraid of who is going to attack you next.

Dolphins are the only animal (non human) that have successfully attacked sharks. Dolphins have come to the aid of humans and driven away sharks including the Great White Shark.

Dolphins as a group are unstoppable

But dolphins can’t do it alone. They have to join forces.

And that is what I’ve done. I’ve joined forces with other dolphins in business.

Now when I look back at the business coaches me and my partner Nan Akasha had in the past I just laugh. They were sharks building a community of fish that they would harvest and if you said no they would attack and NLP their ass off to keep their group intact. The insights were severely lacking and their NLP excuses unbelievable. Everything they suggested was the best option for them and not us. I didn’t feel it was coaching at all but a personality cult. And leaving was like leaving a cult, painful but totally worth it. I learned so much with that experience of how I want to help in business and society that I’m glad it happened.

Posturing is a huge problem in coaching, many are so good at it they forget that they are actually lying. They call it being a leader. If you go on stage and tell people a lie because it postures you as a leader, you are not a leader, you are a liar.

I know the TV show Shark Tank is popular. I’ve watched it and enjoyed it plus purchased items that I though were cool. They hold up these leaders as being who you should grow up to be. But it’s a TV show. It’s done for drama. Reality in business is done with like minded people, a team. But that doesn’t make for good TV. I bet all those business leaders act like sharks to maintain status but in reality are really good with people and are dolphins.

Donald Trump is a great case for this. His public image is one thing, but how he does business is entirely another.

Sometimes you want a shark on your team to get certain necessary business items done, but they need to be contained and limited so they don’t go nuts. Better to have an enlightened shark with limiters who understands being agressive but not over doing it.

To the last major “shark coach” my partner fired for gross incompetence…I thank you. I thank you for opening my eyes back to what I knew. Back to how business is done, by showing me how it should never be done.

I’m a dolphin and I’m damn proud of it.

If you enjoyed this piece, you might also like my story Shut Up and Write — My Experience With Other Writers.

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Originally published at christophersherrod.com on October 24, 2015.

Follow me on Twitter at Twitter.com/ChrisSherrod