ENT 630 Week 8 Blog – Chapter 26: Don’t Burn Bridges

Image result for beautiful Bridges

ENT 630 Week 8 Blog by Mary Schuler

In this world, relationships are everything: at work, home, friends, clients, bosses etc., Maneuvering through life is a matter of managing them all. Obviously, in business sometimes you are in the situation of not being happy with someone and you can’t make everyone happy all the time. One way to identify what kind, with who and how bad the situation is. Figure out how to handle these situations is to imagine how you will describe what happened later.

When mentioning about “burning bridges”, we often think immediately about quit a job or to quit a relationship in general. In an article of Dr. Tina Seelig Ph. D, “It’s a Small World… Don’t burn Bridges!”, she said, “Because we live in such a small world, it is critically important not to burn bridges – no matter how tempted you might be! You aren’t going to like everyone and everyone isn’t going to like you, but there’s no need to make enemies.” At the business standpoint, in ‘It’s a Jungle in There”, Steven Schussler said, “People change. Times change. Conditions change…I’d just be a lot more cautious in dealing with them the second time around.” Looks like “burning bridges” is not an option, ever. Instead, in his story, Steven was mindful and careful with ‘not to burn bridge” but made the decision of choosing which bridge to cross, in this case, dealing business with an entrepreneur Tilman Fertitta.

If you cannot retreat, you will reload and fight hard. The failure is not an option. When the speedbump comes up at any business, you don’t think about quitting but find way how to get away, under, above, through it and get to the finished line.

There are some solutions to avoid burning but strengthening bridges. It may help lead to a greater success and productivity in business relationship:

  • Listen more and take time to hear the other side of the story before reacting.
  • Wait at least 24 hours before responding to a problem and with force: not make decision when still in the emotion, sit on it, dwell on it, work it through your mind and seek third party advice.
  • Come up variety of solutions/options or come to an agreement instead of breakdown. Look for the common ground and negotiate an outcome that is fair and in the interests of all people.

No one wants to be in the “burn bridges” attempting. However, depending on your situation and or circumstance, sometimes you have no choice. The word “never” seems unrealistic, especially in business world, you just never know. Sometimes it makes sense to walk away and chalk it up to learning. Sometime burning a bridge is not just beneficial but necessary to accomplish a goal, at the same time be respectful to all those deserving in business and in life. Taking the risk will give you the strength to burn a bridge should you need to reach your goals, just don’t let it interfere with your best interests or block your path towards success and make sure the outcome has a massive positive impact on achieving your goals. There are some sign or exceptions:

  • If your workplace makes you sick from anxiety and the toxic culture is crushing your mojo. Your boss treats you badly, make sick to your stomach and stress every day…it is healthier for you just take another step forward by just leave and inform your upper management the truth about how you have been treated.
  • When your integrity requires you to bring the truth and for the sake of the company that you love to work with. The consequence might turn out bad because your boss will keep a grudge and retaliation, it will be difficult for you to continue working in the same position and not change environment with a damage relationship.
  • When your trusty gut tells you to, and you know you are taking the risks by take a stand, even if doing so will manage or destroy a relationship possibly forever. Ask yourself: Do I care if there are people walking around on this planet who don’t like me? I hope you don’t care very much about that.
  • You are asking to do something unethical or illegal: someone who wants you to break the law or your conscience is badly bothering you. Who needs to get a knock on the door from the police?
  • You are being abused and or seeing others being abused: to maintain self-respect requires that you resist in the mistreatment of others. The person or company has proven that nothing will. No one deserves to be a human punching bag. Time to give it up!

Before making in any decision, remember this quotation from David Russell (the Scottish guitarist): “The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”


Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. New York: Union Square Press, 2010. Print.







5 thoughts on “ENT 630 Week 8 Blog – Chapter 26: Don’t Burn Bridges

  1. Hi Mary,

    Excellent blog post – it was very extensive, too! I liked your tips about how to not burn bridges. Not making important decisions when emotionally charged with negativity or anger is such a huge key. Once we take the time to calm down and put things into perspective, the problem either doesn’t seem very big or the need for strong words diminished.

    Well done,


  2. Mary,
    I really like how your picture ties in with your article. I agree with you that relationships are everything and it is best to keep as many as possible. You never know when you will need a connection in the future. It is always said in business that everything is who you know. Great post!



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