Why Effective Leaders Use Stories To Train Others

Our guest blogger today is Dr. Paul White, author of Sync or Swim.

Most leaders focus on data and factual information.  And accurate data is important for making good decisions.  But throughout history, communicating facts has not been the most utilized method for developing leadership qualities.  Stories have been used more than any other form of verbal expression.

Let me show you the power of stories and the incredible staying power they have in our lives.

    • Do you remember the Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare?  Briefly, in your mind, outline the gist of the story.  What is the main principle this story communicates?
    • How about the Back to the Future series of movies where Alex (Michael Fox) and Professor Brown are constantly trying to correct changes that occurred in the “space – time continuum”?  What key life principle are these stories communicating (indirectly, but powerfully) to the viewer?2

Why Stories Are So Powerful

 *Stories involve different parts of our brain, which makes learning (and remembering) more effective.  Stories obviously involve words, but stories also bring up visual images and pictures in our mind.  Also, the most effective stories involve emotionally-charged situations: challenges, risks and adventure.

*Stories are non-threatening, which keep people from not putting up their defenses. Stories are usually framed in the context of someone else (either the storyteller themselves, or the fictional characters of the story).  Since the story is not about me and usually communicated in an informal style, then most listeners start out with an “open” mindset

 *We often identify with one or more of the characters and we can easily relate to their experiences and reactions.  We “see” ourselves in the story and actually vicariously see ourselves experiencing the same challenges and emotions the characters are feeling.

 *We see characters that represent people in our lives (which gives us insight to them and why we react to them the way we do.)  Some stories have characters with whom we don’t personally relate, but they remind us of others in our lives.  The characters’ reactions then provide us insights into why they do what they do, and show us the strengths associated with character qualities that we may find irritating.

 *We are able to learn from others’ experiences and can observe different options for handling challenging situations and people.  One of the core benefits of stories is that they allow us to learn from others vicariously, rather than having to experience difficult situations ourselves.  We also are given examples of different ways to handle situations (both positively and poorly.)

 *Stories are easier to remember and communicate to others than facts and principles. Because of their use of imagery, we are able to remember the general gist of a story more easily than remembering pure factual information.   Additionally, we can quickly communicate the main points of a story and the lesson it teaches.

Watch and observe effective leaders and influencers.  They often are excellent at communicating through stories.  Think about life experiences that have impacted you, and start to tell stories to teach important lessons to those you are leading.

To learn more about communication at work, join Soundview and Dr. White for our webinar: Communicating Effectively Through Change.

Do You Know How to Manage Your Boss?

Our guest blogger is Mary Schaefer, co-author of Character Based Leader.

Your relationship with your boss can be one of the most complicated relationships you have. It doesn’t have to be.

Whether you think you have a boss you can work with – or not – take charge making it work. After all, your boss’s opinion matters. His or her opinion has a significant impact on your earnings, your enjoyment of your work, and your future employment.

Look at the list below. Being clear on these points can be the difference between smooth sailing, or navigating rough seas with your boss.

  • Getting agreement on your work objectives and how they will be measured.
  • Knowing your boss’s hot buttons, e.g. what she always looks for, what he never asks about.
  • Addressing any proposal/concern you have in terms that influences your boss to buy-in.  In other words, make it clear what is in it for them and the organization.

So, you get your boss’s opinion. You may not agree with it. But that’s all good. You have more information now. You may conclude you need a different assignment or even a different employer. Knowledge is power. Being informed supports good decision-making.

Don’t take anything for granted.

You may find that you and your boss have experienced disconnects in the past. Looking at the list above, any one of those points could be at play, but are not being spoken or clarified. But now, using the right tools, you can get a common understanding of your job.

Depending on the kind of relationship you have with your boss, you can use the list above in any number of ways, like:

  • You can initiate a meeting. Take this list and say, “I realize these are things that I’ve taken for granted. I want to understand how you see them.”
  • You can bring up one point in particular. Your boss might keep focusing on one issue that you think you are addressing. Now that you look at this list, you might think, “You know, I bet that’s about interdependence. I ought to ask her perspective on that.”
  • You can keep these in your back pocket to bring up at an opportune moment or when you begin to observe that something is off.

Be the leader of your own career.

You own your career; no one will ever care about it as much as you do. We talk about managers and organizations creating environments of empowerment, but you have the ability to empower yourself. When I say this what I mean is for you to:

“Claim and embody your own authority, i.e. own your dreams, decisions, actions and impact.”

With the simple points in the list in this post, you can get clear now rather than pay a price later because you didn’t. Learn to show the value of your ideas and performance. Earn trust and credibility and set the stage for more opportunities.

You have a right to expect a lot from your boss, and you are not always going to get what you need. You are responsible for making the relationship work for you. You can do it.

To learn more about how to manage your boss, join our webinar with Mary Schaefer: How to Make Your Relationship With Your Boss Work For You.

The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World

Today’s guest blogger is Brian Robertson, author of Holacracy and founder of HolacracyOne.

If you’re old enough to remember the days when most PCs ran MS-DOS, consider the leap in capabilities that came with a new operating system like Windows. Your computer’s operating system, invisible though it may be, radically shapes everything on top of it.  It determines how the overall system is structured, how different processes interact and cooperate, how power is distributed and allocated between applications, and so on.

Likewise, the social “operating system” underpinning an organization is easy to ignore, yet it’s the foundation on which we build our business processes and organizational cultures.  The traditional top-down, predict-and-control management hierarchy has been the standard organizational operating system for nearly a century.  Yet when we unconsciously accept the management hierarchy as our only choice for structuring and scaling companies, we lose the opportunity to innovate in this fundamental domain of company building.

Holacracy is a new “social technology” for governing and operating an organization, which replaces the traditional management hierarchy with peer-to-peer distributed processes for structuring an organization, defining roles and responsibilities, and coordinating across organizational functions.  Holacracy aims to improve organizational responsiveness by increasing the number and scope of decisions that can safely be made quickly and locally.  It gives staff more authority and autonomy to get work done and drive continual improvements to the organization’s policies and processes.  To avoid increased autonomy coming at the expense of coordination and scale, Holacracy also adds processes to align actions and update expectations and constraints dynamically, which everyone in the organization can take advantage of.  This results in a just-in-time, minimally sufficient organizational structure that stays nimble and lightweight, driven by on-the-ground experience from getting work done.

One way or another, whether it’s Holacracy or another approach, the management hierarchy is ripe for disruption. The environment around our companies has changed dramatically since its introduction, and our organizations face new challenges in today’s global fast-moving world. But those of us building companies today have other options, and regardless of what we choose, I think we’ll be better off by at least asking the question: what power structure is right for my company?

To learn more about Holacracy, join Soundview and Brian Robertson for our Soundview Live webinar: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World.

 

Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood

Our guest blogger is Jeff Cohen, author of The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments.

The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments provides a practical, no-nonsense methodology for negotiating deals, managing your time and handling crisis, all at the highest level.

In a storied instance of professional redemption, I created The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments to overcome resistance and achieve my goals without losing my soul along the way. Although developed in Hollywood, the real world tactics, strategies and guiding principles are vital for any business environment.

Success is life on your own terms. The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments empowers you to successfully navigate and negotiate the terms of your life.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT I –  IT IS BETTER TO BE FEARED THAN LOVED

“Love is preserved by the link of obligation which…is broken at every opportunity for advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Being feared is more useful and reliable than being loved.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT II – POWER LEADS, REASON FOLLOWS

“All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Power not reason drives the outcome of a transaction.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT III – EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME SIDE THEIR OWN

“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.” – Napoleon Bonaparte  

Parties are motivated by and can be predicted to behave in accordance with their perceived best self-interest.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT IV – THINGS ARE PRECISELY AS THEY SEEM

“Things are entirely what they appear to be – and behind them…there is nothing.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

All manner of irrational and emotional impulses must be shaved away to objectively analyze the battlefield.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT V – NO PIG WRESTLING

“Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

Combat is honor. Choose your enemies and battles wisely.  If combat is thrust upon you, choose to define your enemy and the conditions for victory.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT VI –TAKE YES FOR YES, MAYBE FOR YES AND NO FOR MAYBE

“The man who can’t dance thinks the band is no good.” – Polish Proverb

Dealmaking is a dance whose basic steps are: offer, counter, close.  Conduct the tempo and tune to your advantage.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT VII – DO IT, DELETE IT DELEGATE IT

“Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.” – John Randolph

Time is the Dealmaker’s commodity. Set goals and create a time management system to maximize the impact of your labor and resources.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT VIII – DON’T PANIC, STOP THE BLEEDING, DON’T COMPOUND THE ERROR

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Mike Tyson

Train yourself to calmly and effectively handle emergencies.  Then, fix the problem, analyze the error and improve the algorithm.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT IX – BE A DEALMAKER NOT A DEALBREAKER

“A.B.C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. Always be closing.” – Blake/Glengarry Glen Ross

Dealmakers make deals.  Know your role, get paid and remember your ABCs.  Always be closing.

DEALMAKER’S COMMANDMENT X – HEED NIETZSCHE’S WARNING

“Whoever fights monsters should beware that he, himself, does not become a monster.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Don’t allow fighting monsters to make you a monster. Heed Nietzsche’s warning by internalizing the virtue of forbearance and finding shelter from the storm.

To hear more about Cohen’s controversial commandments, join us for our Soundview Live webinar: The Essential Tools for Business Negotiation.

Customers Buy. Fans Buy In.

Our guest blogger is Lee Elias, co-author of Think Like A Fan.

What do you call the people that do business with you? Are they consumers, patrons, customers, etc? I have become fond of referring to these people as fans. In reality, anyone who does business with you, whether it is monetarily or through trade, is making an investment into your brand and company. The physical transaction between a person and business may make them a literal consumer, however the choice to put their trust and faith in what you are providing is what makes them a fan.

Fans come in many forms; casual, fair weather and die-hard. Simply taking money from these people is no longer the most effective business model. With today’s limitless connectivity and ability to communicate, cultivating relationships and making these fans feel like part of your organization can be infinitely more beneficial, both monetarily and mentally, than ever before.

In a time when challenging the status quo has become the status quo, consumers have placed a responsibility on all organizations to stand out in order to gain their loyalty, not just their money. In order to find continued success moving forward, organizational leaders will all need to gain an understanding of how digital technology is reshaping the consumption of media.  Our entire market is integrating deeper and deeper into wireless, mobile, and digital solutions that consumers crave. These innovations are a major opportunity for revenue and brand building if implemented and integrated correctly. Proper planning and preparation for a digital migration effort is essential, and business leaders will find they cannot sit back and “see how it plays out” for as long as they may have been used to with earlier, more traditional marketing methods.

Today’s connectivity has opened the door for organizations to touch an audience 24/7/365.  Fans are constantly calling for a better overall experience – how are you answering the call?

There are several opportunities to transform from “merchandise” people buy to a “mission” they believe in. For example, organizations can

– “Broadcast” uniformed information across multiple platforms

– Speak with their audience, not at their audience

– Enable current customers and followers to promote your brand

– Stay constantly visible to supporters in order to stay relevant

– Continually “tap” their audience to engage and incite interaction

– Understand how to respond to both positive and negative reviews

– Substantiate internal sales forces to increase creativity and productivity

– Establish trust and authenticity as a keystone of the brand

– Create a digital community in which followers want to visit

– Utilize social media platforms to their maximum potential

– Work with (not against) competitors to maximize profits

– Create a culture of confidence in their brand

There is no doubt that a digital migration is happening. The question most of the elite are looking to have answered is when to make the change…the answer is now, as in right now.

Join us on September 29th at 12 PM ET for our Soundview Live webinar titled “Think Like A Fan”.

Delivering the Unexpected

Today’s blog is from Dustin Klein and Howard Brodsky, authors of the just released book The Unexpected.

Innovation is a word that is tossed around a bit too often today, but when it’s used correctly – and applied effectively – there’s no denying its impact.

So what constitutes innovation?

It can be breakthrough technology. But it can also be a business style or approach, a corporate culture, or a new process. In essence, it is asking “what if?” and then testing the answer.

One way to ply innovation is an approach to how you can service your customers, your vendors and your employees. It doesn’t require dismantling your operations, your workflow, your current processes or procedures, or even your existing products or services. But it does require you to think differently about every interaction you have both internally and externally.

The concept is called The Unexpected. And while that may sound a bit ominous, it isn’t.

Rather, The Unexpected is based on the idea that consumers have resigned themselves to accepting subpar service in order to get the lowest possible price.

And unfortunately, because of the commoditization of many products and services, many business organizations have found themselves in a similar situation as they try to compete on lowest price. Sadly, they’re finding there isn’t much lower they can go and still be profitable.

As a result, you hear a lot of companies say “We compete on service.” But what does that really mean?

More important, when you start to hear everybody say that, it devalues exactly what that “service” is. And when you devalue something, you lose the competitive advantage it once carried.

Moving forward, delivering what might be considered “world-class” customer service – going above and beyond, delivering “plus-one”, and ensuring your customers can depend on you – may soon become your ante at the great poker table of business. And many of those who fail to deliver a minimum service level that is at least above average, will wither away.

So how does innovation play into this equation?

Simple. By innovating your business approach internally and externally, by training your team to be “eyes up” and to identify opportunities to do something different, you can effectively separate yourself from the pack and create a competitive advantage that is hard to overcome.

Here’s what has been uncovered:

First, people want something that is Memorable, which is the first element of The Unexpected. That means something that causes you to walk away and say, “Wow – I can’t believe what just happened to me.”

Here is a very simplistic example:  Let’s say you frequented the same restaurant every Friday night with your spouse or significant other. You always ordered two glasses of red wine with your meals. What if one Friday night the owner sent out two glasses of a new red wine he or she stocked BEFORE you ordered. And what if the waiter told you that the owner thought you might enjoy this new wine and simply wanted your feedback on its quality and taste. It was on the house and a thank you for being such a loyal customer.

You’d find that an Unexpected surprise.

Not only that, but neuroscience tells us that an experience such as this releases dopamine from the brain stem and results in an elevation of your positive mood – creating happiness and joy. It etches a little reminder into your brain that says, This Happened, and creates a memory – the What.

But The Unexpected is more than this. You must also make that Memorable experience Distinguishable, which is the second key element. The Memory must create a Where – it must distinguish your brand from other brands. In this case, the restaurant.

And then, it must also be something that people want to tell others about, thus becoming Viral, the third key element of The Unexpected.

Finally, if you accomplish those three things – Make it Memorable, Distinguishable and Viral – it will result in the fourth key element of The Unexpected:  Profitable.

You will either be able to go deeper and wider with your key client base and increase your profitability – for example, by telling others about how you received the free wine you might cause a friend to say, “Wow – we go there every Saturday and order dessert. I wonder if they might do the same thing for us when they create new signature desserts.” Or, you might be able to create more Profitability as Starbucks and The Ritz-Carlton do – by commanding a premium price for your products and services because you are never quite sure what Unexpected experience either organization will deliver.

Incorporating The Unexpected into your day-to-day operations is actually quite simple….but that is a lesson for another day.

To hear more about how to deliver the Unexpected to your customers, join Brodsky and Klein at our Soundview Live webinar: Breakthrough Strategies to Earn Loyal Customers for Life.

A Transformational Capability, Hidden in Plain Sight

This guest blog features Karl Danskin and Lenny Lind, authors of Virtuous Meetings.

Large group meetings aren’t what they used to be.  In the last 10 years, the most fundamental aspect of meetings has transformed: the role of the participant. A revolution in organizational capability and effectiveness has occurred, hidden in plain sight. What only became possible around 2005, will be commonplace in 2025.

Along with the internet and interactive websites and media and now “social media” came the ability and expectation of giving one’s feedback – having one’s say.  During the same time, internet input devices became ubiquitous. So reading and then writing in response to one’s world has become commonplace.

Within the context of meetings, especially large ones, smartphones and iPads have become commonplace too. Consider this situation: a large meeting, convened by an organization that has important designs and objectives for the participants. Each participant has a computer of some sort on their person (at least a smartphone).  Each participant is brimming with thoughts and feelings after hearing the CEO tell about the way forward … What would happen if you activated a wireless internet in that room, with some software that opened a screen on all those devices that asked, “What insights are you having?”  And then the CEO, and everyone in the room, could review and discuss those insights after they’d been themed quickly …

This situation describes a transformation – the shift from a meeting designed for mostly one-way communication, from the stage to the participants, to a meeting designed for frequent two-way communication, from the stage to the participants and back again to the stage … and then from the stage outward again, with thoughts about what the participants were saying.  Two-way.  Cycles of communication. Deep understanding.  Like dialogue, except now possible in large groups of hundreds or thousands.

Finally, because old habits die hard most large meetings are designed now just like they were 50 years ago – as one-way communication events.

Consider those possibilities in your own context, and bring those thoughts to this Soundview Live webinar: A New Model for Thinking About Large Meetings.  We will explore this capability and its profound impact on meeting outcomes.

For anyone who is remotely connected with organizational effectiveness and/or large meeting design and facilitation, this webinar should rock your world.  Organization leaders, welcome.

Escaping the Pressures and Stressors of Leadership

Our guest blogger today is Mike Figliuolo, the co-author of Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results.  He’s also the managing director of the leadership development training firm, thoughtLEADERS, LLC (www.thoughtleadersllc.com).

The pressure on leaders is increasing every day. Calls for “doing more with less” echo through the halls as ever-escalating expectations create a great deal of stress for leaders. The investment of a leader’s time, energy, and attention (“leadership capital”) is a critical choice leaders make every day.

The options for delivering on these heightened expectations are limited. Sure, leaders can step on the proverbial gas pedal and work harder and longer to create more “leadership capital,” but time is a non-renewable resource—play that game too long and the stress will add up. The cumulative effects of these stressors can be devastating.

When leaders overwork themselves, their teams tend to do the same. People stay at the office until the boss leaves; their stress levels are correlated with those of their boss. Eventually, team members get burned out and some look for new jobs that will be less stressful.

When they quit, they leave their leader shorthanded with an open role to fill. That vacancy increases the leader’s stress and puts an additional burden on the other team members to pick up the slack. This negative performance spiral then picks up speed with no sign of slowing down.

You may have gotten stressed out just by reading this hypothetical situation—that’s because it’s all too real. This brute force approach to increasing leadership capital isn’t sustainable.

If you want to avoid the problems that come from overworking yourself and your team, the only viable option is being more efficient with how you spend your time and energy. How can you be smarter about how you’re investing your energy to get the best results you can at work while still having a life outside of it? Do a better job understanding where you’re investing your leadership capital by assessing which of your team members are consuming the most of it, then change your approach to leading them.

If you’re investing too much time and energy and not getting results in terms of performance, either change the way you’re leading them or figure out how to be more efficient with your time. Another alternative is to build their skill such that then don’t demand so much attention from you.  This isn’t about categorizing people in boxes – it’s about understanding your behavior relative to theirs.  If you get either one of those to change, you should be able to improve results and expend less energy in the process of doing so.

To learn more from Mike Figliuolo on handling the challenges of leadership, join us for our Soundview Live webinar: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results.

Listen to Yourself

Our guest blogger today is William Ury, cofounder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, and one of the world’s best-known and most influential experts on negotiation. Ury is the author of Getting to Yes with Yourself (and other worthy opponents) and coauthor of Getting to Yes, the bestselling negotiation book in the world.

Psychologists have estimated that we have anywhere between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts a day. The majority of those—as high as 80 percent—are thought to be negative: obsessing about mistakes, battling guilt, or thinking about inadequacies. For some, the harsh critical voice of our inner judge is stronger, for others weaker, but perhaps no one escapes it. “You said the wrong thing!” “How could you have been so blind?” “You did a terrible job!”  Each negative thought is a no to yourself.  There is a saying that goes, “if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you wouldn’t have any.”

Self-judgment may be the greatest barrier to self-understanding.

If we want to understand another human being, there is no better way than to listen to them with empathy like a close friend would.  If you wish to understand yourself, the same rule applies: listen with empathy. Instead of talking negatively to yourself, try to listen to yourself with respect and positive attention.  Instead of judging yourself, accept yourself just as you are.

Empathy is often confused with sympathy, but it is different.  Sympathy means ‘to feel with.’ It means to feel sorry for a person’s predicament, but without necessarily understanding it.  Empathy, in contrast, means ‘to feel into.’ It means to understand what it is like to be in that situation.

Listening to yourself with empathy goes one level deeper than observing.

To observe is to see from the outside whereas to listen is to feel from the inside.  Observing offers you a detached view whereas listening gives you an intimate understanding.  Observation gives us the understanding of a scientist studying what a beetle looks like under a microscope whereas listening gives you the understanding of what it feels like to be a beetle. You can benefit from both modalities together. Anthropologists have found that the best way to understand a foreign culture is to participate in it actively and at the same time to maintain an outside observer’s perspective. I find this method, called participant-observation, is equally useful when it comes to understanding ourselves.

As I listen to myself, I notice that the majority of my problematic emotions are the same everyday. For example, one anxiety that pops up regularly concerns the daily to-do list that only seems to expand: will I be able to get through it?  To understand and reduce the intensity of these recurring feelings, I have come up with a daily exercise: in the morning, I imagine sitting at a kitchen table.  As each familiar thought or emotion such as anxiety or fear, shame or pride shows up, I offer it an imaginary seat.  I have learned to welcome all customers, no one excluded. I seek to treat them as the old friends or acquaintances that they are. As the kitchen table fills up, I listen to the free-flowing conversation of feelings and thoughts.

Listening to yourself helps you not only to understand yourself, but to accept yourself just as you are.

If self-judgment is a no to self, self-acceptance is a yes to self, perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Some might worry that accepting themselves as they are will diminish the motivation to make positive changes, but I have found that the exact opposite is usually true.  Acceptance can create the sense of safety within which we can more easily face a problem and work on it.  As Carl Rogers, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, once noted: “The curious paradox is that if I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

Join us September 10th to hear more from William Ury at our Soundview Live webinar: Six Steps to Getting What You Really Want in Life.

Selling A Business For An Outrageous Price: Fact or Fiction?

Today’s guest blogger, Kevin Short, is the author of Sell Your Business For An Outrageous Price (AMACOM Books, 2014), and the Managing Partner and CEO of Clayton Capital Partners, a St. Louis-based investment banking firm specializing in the sale and purchase of mid-size companies.

Have you ever wondered why similar, mid-market[1] companies sell at wildly divergent prices?  I noticed the discrepancy between ordinary and outrageous prices years ago and decided to find the answer.

First, I defined “outrageous price” as one that is at least two times the EBITDA multiple of an average company in its industry. Second, I looked at leverage; the leverage that drives prices up when sellers have it and holds prices in check when buyers have it. Finally, I looked at the transaction process: could we use it to produce an outrageous price?

I started with a four-step Proactive Sale Strategy™ to transform good prices into great ones and to maximize a seller’s probability of closing.

Step One assesses readiness of the company and its owner for sale and addresses any areas that are not sale-ready.

During Step Two we dissect all of the information that we collect in preparation for a buyer’s due diligence to save time later and reduce the risk of a failure to close.

In Step Three we identify a company’s competitive advantage and search for an existing or potential fit between the seller’s competitive advantage and a buyer’s need. We then determine how a seller’s company: (1) can (or could, if given time and preparation) meet a buyer’s immediate need, or (2) could pose an imminent threat to a buyer.

Step Four focuses on potential buyers: which ones can use their significantly greater resources (such as access to capital or more efficient processes) to make more money from a company than can its current owner?

At the end of this process, owners decide if they want to go for an outrageous price. If so, we look for the following four items that I learned (after analyzing numerous outrageous price sales) must be present:

[1] $10M – $250M of value

  1. A competitive advantage that can be leveraged to cause a buyer pain or create gain.
  2. An “outrageous buyer” active in the marketplace who has deep pockets, is motivated to eliminate pain or create gain and has an internal champion pushing to make the deal.

III.        A seller who can trust their advisor enough to follow his or her lead, is self-disciplined enough to resist the temptation to talk to buyers or jump ship when the seas get rough, and has an ability to act.

  1. A transaction advisor who knows how to orchestrate the Outrageous Price Process™. That advisor must understand why a company is successful and be able to communicate to buyers how the acquisition will bring it gain or relieve pain.

The success of this process is dependent on the presence of each of these elements but not necessarily on a strong M&A market. I’ve used it under varying marketing conditions and in all types of industries. Check out my book to learn whether your company could sell for an outrageous price.

To learn more about selling a business, join Kevin Short at our Soundview Live webinar on September 3rd: An Insider’s Guide to Getting More for Your Business.