The Impact of Integrity on Any Longer Time Horizon

Integrity as a strategy as the limit approaches infinity

We all know how if feels to be finessed. We also know how often it happens and how much it pervades the sales profession. Throughout any negotiation, there are an enormous number of opportunities to leverage deceit to gain favorable terms on the deal. If you ever read any sales books, you’ll find them chock full of techniques to imbue the interaction with a sense of urgency and rarity. Once you become accustomed to these tactics, it is extremely tempting to manufacture tough positions for your partner in a negotiation. Squeeze them on a weakness you know they’re insecure about. Act like a trusted confidant one moment, then apply pressure using the information they just gave you to drive the deal to a close. I’ve seen people use these tactics many times in my life. I’ve had them used on me many times. I’ve even been complicit in their use a handful of times.

Here’s what I can honestly tell you about all these tools and tricks: they don’t build anything that lasts. They boast significant upsides in the immediate situation, benefits that are enticing and even jaw dropping. Yet the networks of people who do business this way are like Simpsons episodes. Each new one starts as if the others had never happened. There’s no momentum. When you make out like a bandit in a deal, the other side always knows they’ve been swindled, even if it takes them a while to find out. Every interaction is transactional. Each new bridge that’s built is burned. It’s no way to build a kingdom.

Dealing in negotiations with integrity up front has many downsides over the snake-oil approach. You can’t lie and make your offer seem overly shiny and attractive. You temper your descriptions of the upsides with a more realistic description of risks. You can’t promise extremely low costs because you can’t just ratchet them up when they aren’t looking. You have to make the deal on its face only as attractive as its body. This means that negotiations that you could have closed, will instead fall apart. It can feel crippling to those who are used to having aces up their sleeves. But that’s just part of learning to play real poker. The best players don’t have to cheat.

Every deal has its ups and downs. When you lead with integrity, your terms will stay steady through the roller coaster. You don’t leverage your partner’s unfavorable circumstances to extract an extra pound of flesh. You don’t allow your partner to do the same to you. This doesn’t mean that you cannot make any changes, but it does mean that you always stay consistent with the intent of the deal. What I have found time and time again is that as you transact these kinds of deals, it will feel bumpy along the way at any given moment. Your lack of flexibility will feel like a shackle that keeps you from appeasing your partner’s every whim. It will feel in the moment like it would be so much better to make an exception and just cheat a little bit. Capitalize on a miscommunication here, fib on progress there. But if you steel your resolve, stand your ground, and whether the chaos, in the end these partners are the ones that will come back to you time and time again for many many years afterwards. Because you are consistent in their minds. You’re not a person, you’re a force of nature. People think differently about humans and laws of physics. They may like humans who are fun and fickle. They might get drinks with them and hang out on the weekends. But they build their lives on the rock-solid foundations of laws of physics. Become like gravity. Consistent every time. Your partners will be excited by the spontaneous and the flashy, but they will build their careers on the consistent and the reliable. Be an island amidst the chaos that they can always rely on to anchor them through.

With every deal you make with a new partner, don’t just make a deal, establish a brotherhood. The honest lack of sugar coating that seems like a handicap today, will be the foundation of trust and mutual respect for years to come. Don’t be a player pulling cons, be a strategist building empires.

Copyright © 2023 Silicon Hemisphere, LLC

Copyright © 2023 Silicon Hemisphere, LLC

Copyright © 2023 Silicon Hemisphere, LLC