Something happened last week that got me thinking about burning bridges.
I debated whether or not to share the story, but then I came across this article about superstar investor, Chris Sacca. First, let me say I found the article pinned to Sacca’s Twitter profile, so I’m assuming the info on shares is accurate.
After reading the article (it’s an interesting read), three things stuck with me about how people perceive him:
– Hero complex
– Willing to burn bridges
I took the burning bridges thing as a sign so here we are.
Last June, I received an email from someone I used to work with. I hadn’t heard from him in a while but I’d say we were on good terms.
Don’t send an email if you’re not prepared to act on the response
His email came through at 7:05 am. It said he had an interview with the firm where I work that day and had some questions about work-life balance because he has young kids.
I responded at 7:26a sharing a couple things I noticed at the firm and explaining his question would be netter answered via live conversation.
And then silence.
That silence lasted until last week, almost 8 months later, when I get a response that says.
hey. sorry for never getting back to you–got busy w/ the job search process and home/kids. I’m at [redacted] now, but I appreciate you reaching out. how’s your 2016 coming along?
I didn’t reach out so much as I responded to message from him asking me for some insight on the firm where I work.
Over the next 5 min or so, I debated 1) not responding at all, 2) sending a nice reply, acting like this exchange wasn’t absurd 3) commenting on how unusual this was.
I went with option 3. If you know me at all, you know I strongly believe you can’t expect someone’s behavior to change unless you bring to their attention that you don’t appreciate their behavior. It doesn’t matter how common sense you think it is.
So this is what I said.
Too busy to respond to a conversation you initiated? Not a great look.
2016 is good so far on my end. Can’t complain. Enjoying living in Cali.
Does this whole burning bridges thing even matter?
Would I say irreparable damage has been done in this case? No. But would I go out of my way to return a call or message? Probably not.
The thing is everyone is busy. I have two kids of my own, a demanding job, and a number of people emailing questions about mentoring, so I’m sensitive to how I spend my time.
If you prove to be a person who doesn’t follow-through, you’re going to find a lot of people overlooking you when it’s time to do business.
How would you have handled this situation? Let me know in the comments.