Bill Murray and Business Advice

It never ceases to amaze me how much bad business advice exists and even thrives. On a recent flight I opened a copy of the airline magazine and came across this article about Bill Murray and marriage advice. The gist of the story is that if you can survive an around the world trip with a person, then you should marry that person because you are obvious compatible. It’s a cute story.

Around the world with this guy?

Around the world with this guy?

But at the end of the article the author draws out a business lesson. He writes, “…before working with someone, before employing someone, before going ahead with that merger, ask yourself: if I had to travel around the world with this person, side by side, would I still want to do the deal when we landed back home? If not, then perhaps stop now.”

Huh? I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous advice.

If we only worked with people we could stand to live with for an around the world trip, we would not do business deals at all. I appreciate and admire my employees, my business partners, and all the clients who make my various endeavors function well. But I couldn’t do an around the world trip with any of them.

It’s utterly ridiculous to think this is a good yardstick to gauge our compatibility with a potential partner, employee, or colleague. Must we get along and not dread working with a person? Yes of course. But that doesn’t equate to an around the world trip.

If I used that standard I’d have one business partner, employee, and colleague … my wife. Maybe my kids. But that’s it.

Sigh. Why do people publish junk like this?

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