It is generally better to deal by...the mediation of a third than by a man's self....Choose men of a plainer sort...than those that are cunning to contrive out of other men's business somewhat to grace themselves....Use...bold men for expostulation, fairspoken men for persuasion, crafty men for inquiry and observation....Use also such as have been lucky, and prevailed before...for that breeds confidence and they will strive to maintain their [reputations].
Written almost 400 years ago by Francis Bacon, these words still ring true. (And such practical advice from a philosopher!) In business, should you have someone else do your bidding? To this, I offer the quintessential lawyer's answer: It depends.
A speaker and attorney in Los Angeles, Marc Diener is the author of Deal Power: 6 Foolproof Steps to Making Deals of Any Size (Owl Books/Henry Holt). You can reach him at MarcDiener@aol.com