Betrayal among CEO friends, covert board room attacks & millions in the balance

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A lifelong friend is treasured nourishment for our souls. What happens when the nourishment is actually poisoning you slowly? Ignorance is a valid excuse for having fault. It is not criticism to admit you lack knowledge. Admitting your short comings allows growth. There can be no growth with resource strangulation.

Our ancestors learned by trial and error. There existed no books in antiquity to explain proper toxicology or plant species. I assume we learned what to eat by eating. When people observed negative effects of certain plants — they stopped eating them.

Sometimes the only way to learn is by experiencing consequence.

That is exactly what happened to a partner of mine who saw his lifelong friend betray him. The man traded his soul for perceived millions.

Notice I said “perceived” millions.


Throughout business we seek confidants. Capitalism requires team work, aggression, competitiveness and winning. Business is conflict. Sports are conflict. War is conflict. In all conflict there is victory. In victory there is defeat. You can achieve nothing in business without winning. We hope welcome confidants are friends…but sometimes friends are wolves in sheep clothing.

One sign friends that harbor betrayal show is worry. The individual I saw interacting with my partner would often worry. No solution posed by my partner seemed to satisfy him. My partner’s friend would act unsure; require more explanation and request details on the most basic items.

Often friends contemplating betrayal exhibit concern. These individuals persistently voice concern about a situation despite presentations to solve their issue. People who contemplate betraying loyalty do not feel comfortable with their future under foreign influence.

A second sign to show intention is obsession over details. Friends who trust one another need to understand the plan, the steps to implement the plan and requirements for each person. There is nothing wrong with being thorough. The separation between thorough and obsessive is found in over analysis. Over analysis occurs when a high level executive obsesses over processes of a worker.

Generals train with swords, and have experience fighting in the trenches. Once elevated to commander generals seldom line up on the front line. Position aversion is not due to cowardice. It is impossible to command a field when your vision is limited to the sword point in front of you. A general who obsesses over one solider’s role in a massive battle is not interested in being your ally. The general seeks something else.

Often we do not trust our instincts when friends are involved. People tend to convince our intuition is just second guessing. It is important to trust your instincts and “gut”.

If something does not feel right it is seldom right.

A final sign to take heed to is back channeling. When a person has private conversations with integral partners of your organization without pre or post advisement be wary. As friends who hold CEO positions there is no need for permission. Good intentions are paved by informing your friend of intended calls or quick advisement of calls through a “Post Recap”. Post Recaps should occur within 24 hours. Quick responses and briefs are done out of mutual respect. Friendship is built on mutual respect.

The failure to avail another CEO the courtesy of discussing potential negative items with key stakeholders is a sign of disloyalty, mistrust and possible sabotage.

Post Recaps never occurred with the friend CEO of one of my partners. As a result negative seeds were planted. These seeds would bear sour fruit.


Friends do not invite other friends to lawyer offices to talk concepts. If you arrive at a board room style meeting with several executives and three attorneys your friend is not a friend. Open disclosure, open dialogue and planning stages are meant for business people. Once firm decisions are reached both parties seek attorney advisement for mutual benefit.

Smart business people know planning stages carry risk. High risk is found in planning stages. To be quizzed on who owns what, what agreements are in place, asking how you justify valuation and where can assets unrelated to the project be found are not friend questions.

The proper method of addressing a planning stage is to 1) agree on a concept, 2) jointly discover the input requirements, 3) agree who contributes what, and 4) draft agreements to contractually obligate one another to the items agreed.

Anything else is called “fishing”.

Friends have direct conversations and give work to attorneys. Attorneys take direction from their clients. Attorneys who posture a giant due diligence list, ask for several year tax returns, bank account statements on unrelated transactions, and ask to see sensitive items outside the scope of your deal are not part of your team.


A board setting full of hostility was created in an attempt to assassinate a good man on his quest to help people. This attempt failed due to smart perception, board support, aggressive tactics from a right hand man and the failure of the foe CEO to assess resources properly.

The support of my partner’s team saved his company from an onslaught. My voice of reason, aggressive assertiveness and keen observation steered a doomsday missile from land to ocean. The lesson of this article is articulated in the below caption

“Friends in business are only there if they think you are not taking something from them. If you present yourself as an ‘us’ and make your friend feel like a ‘them’ they will turn. Never make your friend feel excluded or they will fall susceptible to betrayal.”

Business is not for the feint of heart. Make sure you stomach bad intentions with a strong core. Follow me on Medium or subscribe to my newsletter to learn more insightful advice.

To your knowledge success!


About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM), Master Financial Planner (MFP) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at

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Christopher is a Professional Entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience, a Master Project Manager, Financial Analyst, & Master Financial Planner

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