Have you heard the one about the cobblers children never having any shoes because their Dad is too busy?
After talking about the terms of my employment agreement, Larry (myVRM’s CEO) got the company’s attorney to bang out a first draft. When he looked it over he was apprehensive about sending it to me because there were so many boiler-plate sections with ominous-legalese. He finally sent it to me with this condition: “Danny, there’s lots of stuff in there that doesn’t represent the Board’s or my position. So don’t get upset, we’ll work it out!”
When I opened the agreement I remembered how much I hate legal documents–especially employment agreements. There are issues that naturally create tension between employer and employee… things like Non-Compete Agreements, Benefits, Vacation time, and the list goes on. After reading through the agreement and entering my comments, I resolved to change the way we’d complete the deal…
Because I don’t want any tension between Larry and me I thought it best to get one of the Board Members to handle the contract negotiations with me. This provides two benefits:
- This is a perfect opportunity to bring a Board Member in to complete a critical role–not too frequent an occurrence in a small business
- I can negotiate the complicated/uncomfortable elements with the Board Member and keep contentious issues from affecting my relationship with the CEO
Larry also thought it was a great way to go…and that’s what we’re doing. In fact, my second meeting with a Board Member, that I’m really getting to know (a third benefit) is tomorrow night.
We’ll finish negotiating the terms of the agreement and get a 2nd draft back from the company’s attorney. Then I’ll send it to my lawyer to make sure I understand all of the legal language. Do you have any recommendations on negotiating employment agreements? If you do, please let me know… I can always use some more advice.
Running an SBE is a long distance race that’s foolish to run alone! Partner up & find a community — like the one growing over at Supplier Connection.