“Hop in, I’ll drive.”

Just because someone offers you a lift, doesn't mean you have to take it.

In a joint venture or possible business arrangement, it's reassuring when the other person offers to drive. "Leave it to me," they might say, or, "I'm socializing this through the organization… be patient, I've done this before and we need to do it this way."

Often, this is true. It's the honest appraisal of a generous insider, someone who wants both of you to succeed.

But, just as you should never get in a car with a drunk driver, understand that the minute you let the other person drive, you've bought into their process. Spending three months or three years following someone off a cliff is nuts.

I'd rather disappoint you today and refuse your offer of a lift than end up with both of us having wasted hours and hours of time somewhere further down the road. No, you can't pitch this to your husband, that's my job. No, I won't stand by and watch you mangle this before the board. No, we're not going to interact with customers your way merely because it's the only way you know.

Thanks, but I'll drive this time.