Contracts that burn.

1 06 2015

“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.” ~Pete Seeger

I’ve been told that “he who drafts the first version of the contract gets most of their wishes”.  Keep that in mind when you get a contract to review and sign off on.  Read each clause very carefully, and ask yourself, “How can this be used against me”.  Paranoia is a healthy thing when reviewing contracts, because if you didn’t draft them, then the drafter of the document built in lots of protection for, guess who?  Well let’s just say it ain’t you.

I’ve gotten plenty of “experience” over the years from contracts that bit back.  When overseeing the build-out of my first office, I had 2 contractors – the window guy, and the internal construction team.  When both were “done” there was a clear 1 inch gap between the new windows and the finished drywall.  Each contractor said that it was the other’s job to “trim it out”.  Phone contracts have ended up costing us more than they should have, etc.  Leadership lesson – Read it thoroughly, pay for a lawyer to have your back, when possible, or at least bounce it off someone with, ahem, more “experience” than you.  Otherwise, you’ll end up learning the hard way.

Speaking of fine print…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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