Mark McCormack, the founder of IMG, has a great story. One day an executive of his was despatched to negotiate TV rights for a major sporting event. The entire company was anticipating a three week grueling marathon, but to everyone’s surprise the exec returned after one day with the exact deal that IMG was aiming for.
He was of course immediately lauded as a star, much backslapping ensuing.
Mark called the exec to his office and asked how he did it? The exec proudly explained that he walked into the room and said to his counterpart: “Look, we can either spend three weeks thrashing out a deal, or you can tell me what you want and I’ll tell you what I want and we can meet in the middle.”
The counterpart said ok and it turned out the middle was exactly what IMG was hoping for.
McCormack fired the executive on the spot and proceeded to give the following staff speech:
“You are not being paid to meet the other guy in the middle. You are being paid to negotiate the best possible deal for IMG.”
It’s easy to say “What’s your price? This is my price. Lets go halvies.”
If that was how the world worked, anyone would be able to get rich. The world doesn’t work that way.
If you want to get ahead you need to fight for what you want.
Also published on Medium.