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Published: Oct 24 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

There are three things that stick out for me from the new series of The Apprentice...But the biggest thing that sticks out, and maybe is a recurring theme, is what a nasty bunch of back stabbing, aggressive self aggrandizing bunch they all are. The implication being that to be good at business you also have to be an arse. Being nasty and overly selfish is not a good long term strategy in any business relationship. It might work once and you might get away with it, but rarely will it work consistently...

Published: Sep 26 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Being nasty has no place in my view in life or business, not only because it is wrong, it also makes bad sense. Treading gently does not mean being soft, but it does mean having integrity.

Published: Aug 10 , 2012
Author: David Bannister

Some years ago, I was teaching a management course in the Far East. My words were to be consecutively interpreted to the class so I had to send all my material for translation in advance. One of the exercises I used was a version of the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’, a game where the participants’ integrity is challenged and where they can be tempted to try to gain advantage over other participants by saying one thing and then doing something else to ‘win’ the game...

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Be Specific With What You Want

You are out for a drink and the bartender asks you – “What would you like?” to which you reply “Guess!”. “Alright then” he says, “How about a red wine?”. You shake your head to this and say “No, that’s not what I want. Guess again.” After much back and forth, the bartender is justifiably irritated and through gritted teeth he tells you “I have other customers I need to serve, you look like someone who would enjoy a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc so I’ll pour you one of those. Enjoy your night.” This is a silly analogy to what I observe every week in most negotiations. Often there is a lack of specific disclosure as to what it is that the party wants or they take a long time to bring this information forward...

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