Most businesses require both an inside person and an outside person. The skills and personality required for each are quite different, and they seldom reside within the same individual. As a result, the business owner is likely to be much better at one than the other...and therein lies the problem.
 

The Negotiation Line Drawing Technique   

When I first started my business life and found myself in negotiations with hard-nosed, unscrupulous people, I felt at a disadvantage in a number of ways. They weren’t at all interested in win:win, and the issue that I found the most difficult to cope with was the addition of additional negotiating points after I’d made a concession.
 
How often have you found that what you accomplished didn’t bring the result you expected? All too often, business owners find that they don’t get what they thought they were getting. When they get there (wherever there is), they find that what they have done has essentially been a waste of time and effort, that it has simply become an exercise in futility. This is a process that I call “capturing Greenland”.
 

The Capturing Greenland Test

Capturing Greenland happens when you grow and end up with a result that is worse than you expected and could have been foreseen. This is the litmus test to see whether what you will be getting is really what you want. When you have developed your growth plan, answer the following questions:
 
One of the mistakes I most frequently see in business is owners not making a clear distinction between their ownership position in the company and the role that they fulfill, and this can be very damaging. As an owner, you should be paid a salary for what you do and get a return on what you own. You should be paid for the job that you actually perform and the financial reward for your ownership will come as a return in the form of profits and growth in the value of your equity. 
 

Using a Negotiation Process

When you come up on the short end of a negotiation, it is almost always because you haven’t prepared and paid attention to the process. A strong process will help you avoid the twin pitfalls of neediness and focusing on the result and help you prepare for and focus on the things you can control within the negotiation. 
 

Growth – lessons from the front

I founded and ran a company that grew from inception to $25 million in revenues over 10 years, and we grew at over 45% per year for eight consecutive years.  It was a wild ride, and in going through it I learnt a number of things that nobody told me would happen.
 

Do you have Irritable Partner Syndrome?

While partnerships can deliver great value in running an organization, the behavioral styles of the partners are often very different. This can lead to irritation and confrontation that not only puts a significant strain on their relationship but also damages the culture and effectiveness of the company.
 
The well-known quotation “winning isn’t everything; winning is the only thing” predated Vince Lombardi, but was popularized by him. He claimed that what he actually said was “winning isn’t everything – the will to win is the only thing”, and that makes a great deal more sense. 
 
Most people who turn up to meetings with clients or prospects by car appreciate that the car you drive sends a message.  If it’s too old and cheap, they wonder about your success level and it can be a credibility issue.  If it’s too new, shiny, and expensive they think they’re going to be paying for your lifestyle in some way.
 
John Lennon and Paul McCartney were one of the most successful song writing partnerships in history. They worked together for a period of about seven years and were driven apart by their success and their egos. From a business perspective, the inherent flaws in their business relationship provide an object lesson on how not to structure a partnership.
 

The Top Three Negotiating Errors

If you go into a negotiation with an emotionally based win:win approach and your adversary is a better negotiator than you are, you will lose. There are three key areas that will potentially make you come out second best, and I see these key errors made on a regular basis.
 
Positive articles about your company and awards programs are a great way to promote your company but it is essential that you keep them in perspective. The danger is that you hurt the culture of your company by taking them too seriously and starting to drink your own cool aid. They are like a drug and if you take them indiscriminately, you will become addicted and your judgement will be impaired.
 

Operational Implications of Growth

A goal I run across quite regularly is “to double (or triple) the size of the business in (three, four, five) years,” It is almost never accompanied by a realization of what the company will actually look like when the goal is reached, and this really has to be a key part of the process of planning for growth.
 

Losing Through Neediness

The more you need the result of a negotiation, the less successful you will be. At its most extreme, if your adversary knows that you will go out of business if you don’t make the deal with him today you are at their mercy and have no leverage. Fortunately, negotiations aren’t usually this extreme, but many people bring too much “neediness” into the negotiation and put themselves at an unnecessary disadvantage. 
 

The Negotiation Course

I had just been appointed to my first lending job at Barclays Bank, and I felt at a huge disadvantage when negotiating with customers. The bank’s training covered all the technical aspects of capacity, collateral, character and so on, but I felt that the person sitting across the desk had much more experience than I did when it came to negotiating.
 
You have a good golf round one day and think that maybe you have finally figured the game out. It becomes important to you at a different level and you really start to care about it. Then it happens….instead of getting better you get worse. 
 

Why You Lose in Win:Win Negotiations  

When we build relationships we ideally want them to be win:win. This springs from an emotional component and a successful relationship involves give and take, compromise and all the things that come naturally when you are in either a personal or professional friendship.
 
When you want to boil a frog, you don’t put on a pan of boiling water and drop the frog in as it will immediately jump out and can be difficult to catch afterwards.