Score: 93/100 (9.3 out of 10)
COLD and CALCULATED.
This may not be the business book you want to read, but it's the business book you need to read!
This book is absent of a lot of the bells and whistles, glitz and glamour of other business books in that it is almost entirely absent of a gimmick. We had just read “The Team Game” by Bellaria Jimenez and John F. Bucsek which was predicated on the premise of business planning being comparable to team sports. It was fun, engaging, and entertaining to read, and we still got a lot out of it. “Negotiate Like a CEO”—while also engaging and insightful—is far more dry and a lot more direct.
Author Stein has been representing business people including top executives as a lawyer for over 25 years! He has a wealth of experience and wisdom to share with all of us, most of all how to watch our backs and make sure that we aren't taken for a loop by American business law. He makes us aware of the predatory and unscrupulous practices that business people can and sometimes will use against us or to our disadvantage.
The message we got—for better or for worse—is Austin 3:16 says “Don't trust anybody!” This includes the co-worker or business partner who stood up and spoke at your wedding. Seriously! This book provides examples of time when executives and other business people were stabbed in the back and even fired with the aid of someone they trusted. Yes, someone was voted off the board of directors of a corporation by someone who stood up and spoke at their wedding!
And we can't entirely disagree with these sentiments, not just because Stein is about as legitimate a source of this information as you'll ever find, but from our own personal experience. Co-workers and business partners can and will betray you. They can and will get you reprimanded. They can and will get you suspended or even fired. They can cost you your job, and they can cost you a lot of money while causing you a lot of headaches in the future if you are unwilling or unable to adequately defend or prepare yourself.
Be prepared. Plan. Premeditate. Build your defenses and have layers of defenses and contingency plans.
It's an expansion and expression of Murphy's Law: Expect that whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and be proactive about preparing for the worse. Make sure that what starts as a little problem doesn't snowball into a full-on legal battle for your career, your finances, or even your freedom. Get the legal representation you need even if you don't feel you need it yet. Get everything in writing, and never willingly sign away your rights as an employee.
Despite being about as dense as an MBA business law textbook, “Negotiate Like a CEO” flies by. Before you know it, you'll be a hundred pages in and still hungry for more information.
We can definitely recommend it to entrepreneurs and those involved in or interested in business.
Get it on Amazon!