You want to be innovative in your industry. At the same time, others have come before you. Should you blaze a new path or should you follow what other famous CEOs have done?

You’re faced with an interesting proposition. You want to be innovative in your industry. At the same time, others have come before you. Should you blaze a new path or should you follow what other famous CEOs have done? Most people want to reinvent the wheel. The truth is, it’s unnecessary. There’s a lot you can learn just by studying the history of great leaders.

Make Your Competitors Look Lazy and Worthless

When Steve Jobs acquired startup company Lala, which would later become iTunes, he was bumping into competition from other companies like Nokia and Google. Nokia had offered $11 million. Jobs countered the offer – writing a figure on a piece of paper and handing it to then CEO of Lala, Bill Nguyen. Jobs won the deal. The figure? $80 million.

When you go out into the business world, don’t worry about what other companies are bidding. When you want to acquire the services of another company, or you’re in a bidding war, outspend your competition for value. If you blow your competition out of the water, your competitors will look lazy, worthless, and cheap.

Channel Your Frustrations

When Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, was interested in buying Yahoo!, he got the company’s attention by writing a threatening letter to Yahoo!’s board of directors. In that letter, he blamed them for mismanaging the money. He also channeled his frustration into a threat – he promised to go straight to the shareholders of Yahoo! and tell them exactly why Yahoo! was failing. While it never resulted in a deal, it was enough to get negotiations started.

Play Mind Games

When Donald Trump has you in his crosshairs, watch out. First, he’ll have his staff warn you that he won’t be able to stay long, he’s very busy, he won’t shake your hand, and you had better be ready to discuss details. When he arrives, however, you’re charmed by his warm handshake and his 40 minute chat about business. He glosses over the terms of sale and then, before you know it, you’ve given Trump the upper hand.

How? He got you all worked up, and you forgot exactly what normal business negotiation courtesies were. He flattered you. You caved. He won.

Never Compromise

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s motto is “don’t compromise.” The man cannot seem to buy any NBA team. No one will agree to his terms. That’s suited him well in business though. When you’re unmovable, people have to cave to your demands or forget about doing business with you.

Use Prestige As Your Asset

When Warren Buffet does a deal, he sets the terms, and often wins the day. Why? Because his name carries prestige. In 2008, he negotiated a deal with Goldman Sachs that the United States Treasury couldn’t beat with its $125 billion in taxpayer money.

Buffet’s $10 billion deal secured him a return that was triple what the Treasury hoped to get from 9 different banks. Build your reputation for honesty, integrity, and ability, and you can ride that into fantastic business deals you would otherwise have no chance at landing.

Forget About Investors and Lawyers

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg left his lawyers inside watching Game of Thrones while he courted Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom over steak and ice cream on the back patio. Lawyers are fine when it comes to drawing up, and signing, papers. You sort of need them for contracts. You don’t need them to negotiate, though.

Often times, investors won’t invest in your vision. Come to them with an actual deal. Show them the money. Then you’ll have their unwavering attention.


About Author: Guy Asher is a business strategy consultant. His articles mainly appear on business blogs. Visit this online UK contact lens store and see how they are using their site to reach their audience.