How to survive  in a ruthless organisation 

You think your organisation is performance driven and the penalties for disloyalty are severe!

A successful financial planner finds that his business partner has been doing the books for a Mexican drug cartel. What’s more he has been skimming off the top to fund an extravagant extramarital affair. The cartel kill his partner only sparing him and his family because he persuades them he can repay the stolen money. He will use his financial planning skills to set up a money laundering business. It turns out that he is very good at laundering money but he is desperate to get out of the violent world he and his family have been drawn into. This proves to be much harder than he imagined,   this is a very dangerous  world full of cleaver, devious, ambitious and treacherous people both sides of the law. 

Marty and his wife Wendy soon realise that the debt can never be repaid. That trying to do a deal with the authorities would mean always looking over their shoulder,  always living in fear, always concerned for the safety of their children. Their solution is to make themselves indispensable. To make so much money as to be able to buy political influence and power which one day will see them as respectable business people. 

This is where things get really interesting because the two main characters use their business, entrepreneurial and social skills to survive. This is a very competitive world where hostile takeovers and mergers are the norm. Loyalties and allegiances are fluid and pragmatic based on self interest. Those organisations they do business with have internal conflicts, differences of opinion on strategy and over ambitious subordinates. With trust in short supply family members are often preferred  to outsiders but close relatives can be a liability in business.  Possibly because of the nature of the business the people running these organisations have trust issues and exhibit paranoid behaviour probably because there are people out to get them. This can make them very difficult to deal with that and a tendency to be demanding, controlling , impatient and volatile. Taken together these characteristics and the nature of the businesses creat an air of menace and intimidation at every business meeting. 

You wouldn’t have thought a mild mannered accountant and his suburban wife would last five minutes in this ruthless and extremely competitive business environment but they do. And the skills they use are the same as successful /effective business people use everywhere.

Marty is calm under pressure, he is very good at thinking on his feet and adapting his plans when unexpected things happens and they happen a lot. He is an excellent communicator, a brilliant negotiator, likeable , rational and in a world where no one really trust anyone he manages to gain people’s confidence and respect.  His success is often down to his ability to see the bigger picture, he doesn’t mind negotiating a deal more beneficial to the other person if it gets him a step nearer to where he wants to go. If he has a weakness it is that he can be too calm ,too reasonable in a business where people are neither. He just wants people to like him. This is where his wife turns out to be the perfect business partner she is intelligent, charming, very resourceful and happy to flatter male egos to further the business. She is also ruthless. If Marty hesitates Wendy provides the steely resolve and driving ambition. 

Do not watch Ozark (Netflix) for the tale of drug cartels, money laundering and political corruption but for how to work with paranoid bosses, megalomaniacs , ruthless competitors, disloyal employees, disruptive elements , unstable partnerships, over ambitious colleagues and mutinous  subordinates. 


Blair Mcpherson former Director author and blogger 





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