Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Offense or Defense?

As a former employee of a group of radio stations, a few years ago I was asked to sign a non-compete agreement.

This was the second time I had to sign one of these and this time it was incredibly one sided, all in favor of my employer.

I was prohibited from working in my chosen profession for 365 days after leaving, no matter who terminated my employment.

I was not allowed to work for any broadcast or print medium within about 100 miles.


They were scared.

Scared that I would take my clients and get them to cancel their advertising and follow me to my new employer.

They were paranoid.

Paranoid that they would train salespeople only to have them take their new found knowledge and go to work for a competitor.

Scared and Paranoid are not good ways to run a business.

If these are part of your primary business culture, I suggest you stop playing defense and flip it around.

Start playing offense.

Instead of worrying about employees leaving, create an environment that they'll never want to walk away from.

Or partner with those that have good ideas and you may find your next new big "thing".

And if they really want to go, give them your blessing, you never know how building bridges instead of burning them may be beneficial.

The words of Scott Howard aka ScLoHo


  1. There is a lot of truth to what you say here, but it is probably a practice that few businesses ever adopt. Also, if they had terminated you, I am curious how much of the agreement would really be legally enforceable.

  2. Rick, our non-compete was fashioned after some other station groups in town, and I had an employment attorney review mine before I signed it.

    It was enforceable. But after careful consideration, there wasn't any other station that I would have rather worked for, so I signed it.