I seem to be eaten up with Franki Valli and the Four Seasons lately! I hope you’ve gotten to see the new movie “Jersey Boys” about their story this summer. I’ve seen it twice, and just saw the musical last week in Las Vegas! I’ve been accused of being obsessive compulsive before, and this behavior might seem to support that, but really I just love the music and like the story!

Anyway, as I sit here writing this post and listening to the Four Seasons greatest hits I’m reminded of the scene in the movie where Franki and Bob Gaudio make a deal to combine their talents and form a partnership. Bob says to Franki “should we get a lawyer to draw up a contract?” To which Franki replies, while offering his hand, “I’ll give you a contract, a New Jersey contract.”

This is my favorite part of the movie!

Here are two guys whose word is their bond. Two honest people who mean, and do, what they say. And it worked! At the end of the movie the point was made that over forty years later, through thick and thin (and there was a lot of both), their partnership, based on a handshake, was sound.

I like this part of the story. We are in the partnership business and I have a lot of partners. Most of them are like Franki and Bob. Guys who can be counted on. Who keep their word. Who do what they say. People for whom a handshake would be good enough. We do use a contract, because it makes people feel better. But you can’t put on paper, in a formal “contract” anything that is more meaningful to me than what I always hope to express in a hand shake.

The world may have changed from the 1960’s when Franki and Bob first shook hands. But I’m a believer. The “New Jersey Contract” is the best kind there is!

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