The $300 Million Slam Dunk

You may not have heard of Ozzie and Daniel Silna, brothers who made their fortune in the textile industry in New York in the 1960s and 70s, but this story of negotiation is a great one, and there are plenty of lessons to take from it.

By 2014 the Silna brothers had earned over $300,000,000 from the NBA despite never having played a game or indeed never having owned an NBA franchise. How they did it is a tale of planning, foresight and resilience to rival the very best commercial negotiations ever.

foresight, negotiation, planning, resilience, sport

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Conformity – are you a snowflake or a sheep?

We’re all individuals; we have unique fingerprints, dna and personalities. even the most identical of twins are not identical. we’re not ants running around unquestioningly, but non-conforming, intelligent humans whose every action is an expression of our own particular interpretation of the world surrounding us. we each have within us the ability to question and challenge the status quo.

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Hostage Negotation

they’re irrational, unpredictable, and like to make threats. no, i’m not talking about your customers or suppliers – but hostage takers.

so what can commercial negotiators learn from hostage negotiators? on the face of it, the two sets of circumstances are radically different:

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Lose the battle; Win the war

Who doesn’t love a good argument? it can be enjoyable to do, and even more entertaining to watch. how often do you find yourself taking issue with someone who says something provocative, unfair, untrue or aggressive? it is your duty to put them right – right?

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Negotiating Successfully But Ethically

this is a dilemma many people face.

your market is probably getting more competitive; your personal targets are getting tougher; your competitors are getting sharper; your customers and suppliers are expecting better deals; your shareholders or bosses (same thing?) are expecting year-on-year improvement.

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Negotiation – it’s all about style

we probably all know people who are referred to in the following ways: “she’s a great negotiator; really tough, drives a hard bargain. everyone is intimidated by her” (think margaret thatcher, bob crow or michael o’leary) or “he’s a great negotiator; always looking for the win/win, really creative in his approach. everyone trusts him” (think gorbachev or branson).

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Deadlock in negotiation – do you use it or fear it?

some people subscribe to the view that it is not possible to reach the optimum outcome in a negotiation without at least the threat of deadlock. if the other party knows that you are amenable towards reaching an agreement then they will expect you to be flexible and for all of the value transfer to come from your side of the table. conversely therefore,

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