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#262 Herbie Cohen (World's Greatest Negotiator)
August 11th, 2022 | E262

What I learned from reading The Adventures of Herbie Cohen: World's Greatest Negotiator by Rich Cohen.


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[1:20] The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen (Founders #255)

[2:42] You Can Negotiate Anything: How to Get What You Want by Herb Cohen.

[3:57] Even our heroes falter.

[6:01] Once you see your life as a game, and the things you strive for as no more than pieces in that game, you'll become a much more effective player.

[7:20] He was proving what would become a lifelong principle: Most people are schmucks and will obey any type of authority.

[7:34] Power is based on perception; if you think you got it, you got it, even if you don't got it.

[7:54] Nolan Bushnell to a young Steve Jobs: “I taught him that if you act like you can do something, then it will work. I told him, ‘Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.”  from Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson. (Founders #214)

[10:30] Life is a game and to win you must consider other people as players with as much at stake as yourself. If you understand their motivations, you can control the action and free yourself from every variety of jam. Focus less on yourself and more on others. Everyone has something at stake. If you address that predicament you can move anyone from no to yes.

[14:01] Those who can live with ambiguity and still function do the best.

[14:21] Ambiguity is the constant companion of the entrepreneur.

[15:26] Don't bitch. Don't complain. Just play the cards that you've been dealt.

[20:12] Most people try to blend in. Herbie went the other way. When they zig, I zag.

[21:49] It meant Sharon had failed to understand an essential part of an ancient code. If you have a problem with your brother, you deal with it inside the family. Don't rat. Don't turn your brother in to the cops. It was another one of his big lessons. Loyalty. Without that you have nothing.

[27:03] Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

[30:11] When it comes to negotiating you'd be better off acting like you know less, not more.

[32:18] How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know by Byron Sharp

[35:56] He believed it was good, possibly very good, and it was this belief, which never wavered, that would give him the confidence to persist despite  the rejections that were coming.

Quoting Harry Truman, he'd say, "I make a decision once."

And he'd made his decision about the book. In case of rejection, the only thing that would change was his opinion of the publishing house.

[37:01] It took 18 no's to get to a yes.

[37:37] Herbie sells his book by hand. This part is incredible.

[40:36] Back in Bensonhurst we were seeing my father as he'd been before he was our father. As he was still deep down when we weren't looking.

[43:50] I told him I did not want something to fall back on because people who have something to fall back on usually end up "falling back on it.

[47:34] You can always understand the son by the story of his father. The story of the father is embedded in the son. —Francis Ford Coppola: A Filmmaker's Life by Michael Schumacher (Founders #242)

That was the last time I saw him. His brave cheerfulness chokes me every time I recall the scene. It is impossible to imagine my father's emotions as he waved goodbye knowing that he might be on his way to London to die. Sixty years have not softened these memories, nor the sadness that he missed enjoying his three children growing up.

I felt the devastating loss of my dad, his love, his humor, and the things he taught me. I feared for a future without him.

Invention: A Life by James Dyson (Founders #205)

[52:48] Even our heroes falter.

I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ”

— Gareth

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