Surviving the Judas Kiss | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Surviving the Judas Kiss


He had worked hard for over three years. The work he had accomplished had gained him mixed reactions from those that he came in contact with. Some saw him as a know-it-all, a nuisance. Others respected what he had to say, giving him the title of The Greatest Teacher.
This night, though, had been difficult, commemorating the most celebrated event of the year with his closest friends and then heading into the garden to contemplate what he knew was soon to come. There had been signs as to who would be the one to aid in fulfilling the words that were told so long ago. Even after working side by side, it was inevitable who had strayed in their assignment, and soon in their deeds.
He had already dispatched him to do what had to be done.
The teacher had just finished his soul-wrenching prayer when the one approached him with a greeting, followed by a kiss that would change the dynamics of their lives forever…

No business—no matter how well-structured and successful—can make it without certain partnerships. We all need them to survive, and along the way friendships are formed.

When I was in hotel management I had a strict rule that said I wouldn't hire friends. The answer should be obvious, but I'll explain why. Friends are good to have around, but in the workforce they can be a hindrance. When friendships are involved, sometimes the professionalism that should exist isn't always there when it comes to the workplace. Attitudes develop. Respect is loss. And in the end not only can a employee be fired but a friendship destroyed.

Now it's one thing to work together in someone else's establishment, but when your company and reputation is endangered then you have to make decisions. Though we would like to think that the friends we have today will always be our friends, that is a sad disillusion that could destroy you. We have to trust, but not to a fault.

A wise adage says "your friend is the man (or woman) who knows all about you, and still likes you." I don't think the creator of those words meant for friends to exist in the workplace. Why do I seem so against friends existing this way? It comes from what I call the 'Judas Kiss" syndrome.

People who know me are aware that I rarely incorporate religion in my forums, programs and writings. This subject of the 'Judas Kiss', however, is directly related to religion.

Jesus had many disciples during his ministry, but twelve played specific roles while traveling with him. One of those in his inner circle was a man named Judas. Though he saw the great work that his instructor accomplished—even participating in it—it didn't keep him honest or loyal. In the end he betrayed Jesus with no chance of correcting his transgression.

Such is the case today. There are those who have joined with your company that may appear to have your best interests at heart. The question would be, Do they? You want people around you with ambition and drive, but you need them to be on side. The fact is that not all will be. Along your journey there will arise those who get close to you with the goal of destroying you. It's not a matter of if, only when. So how will you combat it?

In my organization we have several facets that require me to entrust people to do various jobs. Sometime I find myself getting bit by those who worked with me on a project and before I know it they are introducing a version that is eerily similar to mine. Thus, I've received the 'Judas Kiss,' but in our case it doesn't have to be fatal.

What some mean as backstabbing can be just the thing you need to reinvent yourself. That will surely allow those who you serve and associate with to tell what is real and what isn't. You run a business and represent a credible brand. Use that to your advantage. Any attempt to duplicate or derail your brand shows it is a threat to someone.

Do everything you can to improve, even if you feel as though you're at the top of your profession. As much as you might not like it, research what your new competition as well as the old is doing. You don't want to credit them with anything, but need to know what direction they're headed in so you can stay a step ahead of them. By doing so you remain in the lead of the pack.

Now let's go back to Jesus and his friend-turned-betrayer, Judas. If you read all the accounts you see that Jesus would not retaliate nor would he allow his other disciples. In business, we don't consider this a retaliation when the only recourse taken is damage control. Self-preservation is only natural. You may become more aware of those around you but it shouldn't make you too paranoid.

Another adage says "It's better to occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious."
In other words, continue to make your contacts. If they do copy you then at least you know you're doing something right!

Previous Comments


Right now I find myself reading Donald Trump's "The Art of the Comeback" and it dawned on me yesterday that I seem continually looking for a way to reinvent myself. When I wrote the "Judas Kiss" article, it was done with the intention of showing how those around us can end up being our own worst enemy. Doesn't mean we shouldn't trust. It just means that we have to be careful exactly who we put our trust in.

c a webb

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