A while ago, I worked a role where I managed a lot of projects. On those projects and opportunities, I had to work with three different consultants. My success to my boss and leadership was determined by how those consultants would rate the progression of the projects which means that if they gave a good review, I was in for bonuses and great opportunities. If the review I receive was mediocre, I had a lot of one-on-one time with my boss. If I got a bad review, then I was practically fucked and not going to get ahead.

One consultant was a guy named Ron, an older grey-haired guy who was built like a fitness model. Ron had been in the industry for a while and knew what was what. The other was a guy named Brent, a laid back surfer boy persona who you could rarely imagine wearing a suit for long. Then finally, we had Sofia, a slim Italian woman from Long Island in her thirties.

Sofia had an unfair advantage compared to Ron and Brent, she was more senior as a consultant and had a lot more projects she was involved in. Sofia was also involved in projects which were the most lucrative meaning that the client had a lot of money to spend. Overtime, due to sheer luck mainly, she had become amongst the most respected consultant at the firm.

Unlike Ron and Brent, I did not have a good rapport with Sofia. Sofia was cold towards me, very impersonal, and very scatter brained. In my first review, she gave me average feedback while giving no context on the situation. Then, I noticed that my work on projects that was good was slower to be reported and she often complained when I did not bring her big enough clients.

“The company needs bigger clients to grow”

“We need clients that will stay with us long-term”

“I don’t even care if they are willing to sign next week and pay us, we don’t need those kinds of clients”

On the other hand, Ron and Brent were willing to work with me and give me good reviews. Ron and I may have butted heads at times but in the end, he always gave me good reviews and progressed my projects along. Brent on the other hand was laid back and gave me good reviews at almost every turn. Sofia was the tough one and I initially respected her because I saw where she was coming from in terms of long-term vision.

Then it happened.

A team member I had, a tall Ivan Drago lookalike named Rob, sent Sofia two minor projects. The projects were the exact same type of projects that Sofia complained to me about but lo and behold, things were different here. Rob’s projects got glowing reviews and were quickly moved along. Sofia was not aware that I knew of this and she kept on making the same complaints to me.

I, on the other hand, was crushed and in a tough spot. So much time had been put into Sofia’s projects from me to make them work only for the very best ones to make it out alive. Meanwhile, Rob had his projects happily moved along and glowing reviews, even though they were the kinds of projects she complained about (smaller companies, not a good size, and not the ideal fit for services we offered).

Yeah, I was crushed as hell. A part of me felt very drained because I had put in so much work only to be disrespected like that. I worked weekends trying to make things happen for Sofia’s projects only for her to screw me over in a huge way, double standards galore.

What hurt me even more was how rigged the game was, Sofia had such an unfair advantage. I felt like I was forced to work with her on the projects due to this advantage itself. Due to this, abandoning her area would have been a foolish mistake.

I am proud I caught on to it though.

As bad as it was, I am proud that I caught on to what was happening. Now whatever Sofia said was in to one ear and out of the other. I no longer invested time into her projects even though we were getting some serious momentum on them. In many ways, I had a take it or leave it approach with her from then on. I intentionally gave her mediocre projects, saw her complain, and disregarded whatever she said.

Through a serious miracle, I was able to make Ron the top performer by the end of the year. I had left Sofia out to dry and put all of my focus into Ron’s opportunities as well as some on Brent’s. The way it all ended, Sofia had the top spot snatched from her in the last part of the year and Ron had dethroned her. The following her, leadership gave a good chunk of Sofia’s underutilized projects to Ron.

Karma hit Sofia hard and the gravy train she was on was ending and ending fast. Now Sofia had lost her top spot and she had been a mediocre performer the following year. Slowly, leadership saw that her success came from her having an abnormally unfair advantage. Ron was now the top dog and we still have drinks from time to time.

So what is my lesson to all of you from this?

Whether it is a man or a woman, take people at their actions, never their words. Now the similar is true for dating when so many women end up going for the very kinds of men they complain about. You see it when people who claim to be your friends throw you under the bus at any given opportunity.

When people do you dirty and go back on what they say, never give them what they want. Break your trust with them and keep moving forward on your own way. From then on, you might even be dealing with a manipulative psychopath.

We even see it with politics, sure the right wing is clearly full of racist bigots but what about the left? You notice once you take people at their actions than words, liberals are no less racist than conservatives but are rather more sly about it.

We see it with women who may complain about racism and white supremacy but will exclusively date white men. Notice the disconnect here?

How about the so called “red pilled” guys who talk about how marriage is a scam and it is all about being alpha, only to settle down for the first girl that gives them love?

Always watch what they do, whether they are friends or random people. In dating and especially in business, watch what people are doing and don’t take them at their word until they have proven their words are worth something.

When you pick a mentor or coach, find one that has actually achieved the results you want, not one that just talks about it.

Actions speak louder than words.