one of my favorite recent books was “the education of millionaires” by michael ellsberg (for other favs, you can check out what’s on my shelf)… in it, michael will make you question any time or money you spent on a formal education — in my case, that was a fair amount of both. but fear not even if you did subject yourself to college or worse, the lessons in the book will save even the ivy league, jd-mba.
just in case delivery to your ipad or kindle is taking a while, let me summarize the lessons…
- how to make your work meaningful and your meaning work
- how to find great mentors and teachers
- what every successful person needs to know about marketing
- what every successful person needs to know about sales
- how to invest for success
- build the brand of you
- the entrepreneurial mind-set versus the employee mind-set
some of these are so good, i think i might revisit a few chapters today… but one that isn’t in here (at least explicitly) and one lesson i’ve been thinking about recently is stakeholders. in the traditional sense, stakeholders are the people that own stock and bonds in a corporation. this has since expanded to a corporation’s customers, vendors, suppliers, the second and third derivatives of each, and even the people who live in the same town as the corporation and/or its other stakeholders. starts to get complex, but it’s not simply the businesses traded on the NYSE that have stakeholders. you and i have stakeholders. hell, my dog has stakeholders.
from a negotiation in china town, to a business deal, to an argument with your sister — it all boils down to each’s stakeholders. how far can the other bend? what is the zopa? what is each being judged on? to whom does each have to answer? the ability to recognize, tailor, and exploit this knowledge corresponds directly with your ability to create the best environment, the best deal, and perhaps even a win / win.
my exercise of late has been to think about the range of potential stakeholders of every person i come across during my day. transitioning from the guy operating a subway line to a total stranger i’m reaching out to on linkedin, i’m finding this exercise engaging and it might even make me a better (business) person.
two awesome blog posts that i read this weekend (grinfucking and just fucking sell) inspired me to take this thinking further. from a friendly debate to an intense negotiation, stakeholders play a huge part, but there are still best practices to which to adhere.