Key Man / Key Woman Clause – How to Protect Your Key Business Relations

Published on August 14th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

 
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”

– Michael LeBoeuf

ACTUAL CASE HISTORIES: Rita was a highly regarded Senior Sales Account Manager for an industrial plumbing supplies company headquartered in Springfield, Illinois that catered to a handful of large construction firms in the Upper Midwest and Canada. Over 20 or so years, she had developed strong client relationships based in a deep trust for her good judgment and for her devotion to client interests. Her clients often said of her “If you need something, and need it ‘yesterday,’ you need to call Rita.” She had also built a small but effective support team around her.

Rita was recruited by a large competitor headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to serve in a significant Business Development role, with the expectation that she would bring with her the “Book of Business,” that is, her established network of clients and their business. While she was presented with a significant increase in compensation, she was not quite certain it was the right move for her clients, many of whom enjoyed “white glove,” personal treatment they had grown accustomed to over the years.

Wisely, Rita sought ways to protect her “Book of Business,” what some people refer to as her “B.O.B.” She sought one or more ways she could assure her clients and client referral sources that she would “be there for them” whenever and however they needed. She sought, too, of various one or more ways she could always keep her support team with her.

Her primary concern was that she would join the new company and, in any agreements, somehow lose access to her critical business relations. “What might happen if she left the new company, or was asked to leave, for any reason? Like most employers, her prospective employer required their employees sign a non-compete agreement, prohibiting them from providing services to “the company clients,” which is precisely what “Rita’s clients” would become, if she let that happen.

Rita would also be required to sign a “non-solicit/non-hire” agreement, barring her from taking any members of her support team with her, in the event she left or was asked to leave.

We helped Rita solve these two problems with the use of “Key Man / Key Woman” clauses that her prospective employer reluctantly agreed to, in order to “acquire” Rita, her team, and most especially, her clients. So, if for any reason Rita left the new company, or if for any reason she was not in charge of her client’s business, Rita’s clients could take their business – and take Rita and her team, too – to another company.

LESSON TO LEARN: As an employee, you are referred to as a “Human Resource.” I happen to deplore that term, as I find it to be a dehumanizing phrase. But, as a “Human Resource” you may be seen as a “source” of new, additional, and very valuable business from new, additional and very valuable clientele. This is precisely why we use “Key Man / Key Woman” clauses and agreements: to offer that to your employer, but to maintain your access to the great value of your relations.

Good relations with staff members, colleagues, vendors, customers and clients are of critical value in every business and profession. That is why employers try so hard in numerous ways to ensure that their employees do not “steal” them, even when it was the employee, himself or herself, who brought the client to the employer. It is beyond question that it is in your own best interests to try to keep those valuable business relations, no matter where you are, where you go, or what you do.

Having good, strong, close relations with clients and customers makes you the “rain-maker” that is one of the most important attributes of a successful business person. Having good, strong, close relations with colleagues makes you the “magnet” that can attract, maintain and take with you the best and brightest of talent. Having good, strong, close relations with support staff gives you the ability to move your business to its most fertile location and have intact, when you need it, reliable, trustworthy, confidence-enhancing support.

We see many Key Man / Key Woman clauses in contracts used by sport agents and agents for movie/TV talent. It is not common knowledge, but a good number of senior executives request in their own employment contracts that, if the CEO should depart for any reason, be it voluntary, due to disability or death, or involuntary, due to misconduct reasons or otherwise, they have the option, but not the obligation, to depart free from further obligations and continuing restrictions to the employer.

“Key Man / Key Woman Clauses” are one of the best ways to do protect your “key business relations.” And, if you may have the leverage to do that for your own “key business relations,” why not at least try?

WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you have such key business relations – and so many people do – consider the use of Key Man / Key Woman clauses to protect your valuable relations with them in various circumstances:
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on August 13th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

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“One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.”

– Mayan Proverb

Kindness is a variable blend of being friendly, generous and considerate. It is a unique act in a moment’s time, as well as a quality of character that lasts a lifetime. Kindness is also unique in that it tends to reproduce itself, as in “Kindness begets kindness.” At work and elsewhere, if you want to do something that will all at once lift another person, bear fruit in your own life, and the lives of others, try a random act of kindness. It costs little or nothing, it never requires repayment, yet bears dividends forever. Especially at work.

This quote was sent to us by Muressa, all the way from Chaguanas, Trinidad. Your kindness is appreciated, and one day I am certain it will be repaid, Muressa. If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need a model memo or letter to transmit a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on August 6th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Never treat anything you do as a steppingstone. Do it fully, and follow it completely.”

– Mira Nair

Sometimes clients mention to me that they are taking a certain job only as a steppingstone to another job, that is, building their resume so that they can eventually get the job they really want. I understand that approach to career planning, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. Unless, for that reason, they fail to fully engage in the job they are taking, fail to do all they can do, and thus fail themselves in the process. It is the fully-engaged experience on a job that offers you new and different skills, insights, understandings, and relationships, that is, the true “steppingstones” to your development. The fully-engaged experience might even make you decide to change your career path or goal. Don’t shortchange yourself by failing to appreciate how valuable it is to fully engage in anything and everything you do. Especially at work, and in matters of your career.

This quote was sent to us by Brandon T., of San Marcos, Texas, “just south of Austin.” Much appreciated, Brandon. If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need a model memo or letter to transmit a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

Coming Soon . . . Leaving a Partnership, LLC, Inc. or PC You Co-Own

Published on July 31st, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

COMING SOON

No, no one in the office is “expecting,” but we will soon “deliver” a New Newsletter:

Leaving a Partnership, LLC, Inc. or PC You Co-Own: The Seven Important Concerns

Many of our clients have chosen to “go out” into their own businesses, on their own or with others. I particularly enjoy helping people do that. That said, when there are “business marriages,” there are inevitably “business divorces,” too.

There are many things to consider, and many things to do when anticipating, or going through, a “business divorce,” whether the company has been formed as (a) a partnership, (b) a limited liability company, (c) a corporation, or (d) a professional corporation.

We have categorized the many things to consider into seven categories, and will soon be distributing our newsletter that explains them.

Whether you are in a partnership or other co-owned business, or think that you may one day want to go that route, I think you will enjoy the read.

We also offer an 83-Point Checklist for Navigating and Negotiating a Departure (Voluntary or Involuntary) from a Partnership or other Co-Owned Business. If you would like a copy, just [click here.]

To see a list of all of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Agreements – that show you “What to Say and How to Say It” in hundreds of different workplace situations – just [click here].

If you would like to arrange a Telephone Consultation with Mr. Sklover, just [click here].

Whatever you do . . . why not do it wisely?

“You are not alone, at work, any more.”

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover All Rights Reserved.

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on July 30th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

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“He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.”

– The Koran

“God has a smile on His face.”

– Psalm 42.5

“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”

– Jewish Proverb

“I commend mirth.”

– Ecclesiastes 8:15

“Laughter is the foundation of reconciliation.”

– St. Francis de Sales

“Even the gods love jokes.”

– Plato

“From there to here, from here to these, funny things are everywhere.”

– Dr. Seuss

Who am I to argue with these great sources of wisdom? Sometimes, you just have to laugh, so at least once or twice a day, think of a joke, a silly thing done by a young child, or anything else that brings a smile to your face, and a lightness to your soul. Especially in those seemingly dark and upsetting times around you.

This group of quotes was sent to us by Nancy of Barnegat, New Jersey. Boy, we sure needed that. Thanks, Nancy, for the lift. If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need a model memo or letter to transmit a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

© 2018 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.


Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 35 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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