Fifteen steps to deal-making glory…
1. Put all your cards on the table, let everyone involved know exactly what you want. Tweet it out if necessary. Repeat it over and over again so that your counterparties have no doubt as to your desires and needs.
2. Take into account as much feedback from outside parties as possible. Even if it means changing your rhetoric mid sentence.
3. Self-contradiction is your friend. It keeps everyone off balance, even yourself. Saying three different things every day is sure to speed the negotiation process up.
4. Always issue ultimatums and deadlines. Even if you can’t enforce them. It’s great fodder for the media, and attention from the media is the only thing that counts in life.
5. Back yourself into a corner. Give yourself as few outs and potential exits as possible. The earlier you can do this, the better.
6. Surround yourself with controversial, barely qualified imbeciles. Have them contradict each other in public remarks. Play the members of your side of the table against each other. Keeps the other side guessing.
7. Make promises you can’t keep, as loudly and as often as you can. Yell them into a microphone at college football stadiums. Print them on a hat.
8. Always be fighting wars on as many fronts as possible. If you run out of adversaries, go after your allies. The important thing is to be engaged in multiple battles day and night, conflict without end, strife as far as the eye can see.
9. Never back down, never give an inch, never apologize, never see things from anyone else’s perspective.
10. Lie incessantly. Tell so many lies that anyone paying attention begins to doubt their own sanity. Put the whole concept of truth itself on trial.
11. Declare victory before you even begin.
12. Accuse everyone of cheating. Call the negotiation process itself “rigged” and unfair early on, so that no outcome can possibly be blamed on you.
13. Make sure you have nothing at stake personally, that way there’s room for plenty of other people under the bus.
14. Be as emotional as possible, especially when the cameras are on.