Welcome to my third Jerusalem Post blog...

For no particular reason, I recently found myself thinking again about Israel. And this in turn reminded about a fascinating true tale that involved an Israeli client I had once represented…

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He was one of the smartest clients I’d ever represented. Although he had no formal education, he was incredibly street-smart. He was also one of the best negotiators I’ve ever worked with.

To this day, I can still remember how a difficult choice he made had made me feel really proud. I can also remember how sheepish his choice had made me feel. Why? Well, I’m not at all sure I’d have made the same choice he made!

Some background... 

It was more than thirty years ago…

Way back then, I can immodestly reveal that I was regarded by some as a bit of a hotshot young international business lawyer. I had a fancy Century City office with a breathtaking view of the Los Angeles Country Club—an exclusive golf club known originally for its lack of Jewish members. I’m sure that was an accident…  :-)

My Israeli client had retained me to help with a project that involved a military vehicle he had developed for Special Forces' use around the world. His international partners were a large Australian arms manufacturer; a Singapore company and an Israeli group. His American partners were a superstar group. With some modest help from me, he had assembled a quite remarkable team that included an icon in the American Special Forces community, a former high-level player in the Reagan administration, and someone who was regarded as the father of the Humvee…

So, what made me proud?

This requires some background about the particular deal we worked on together. I’ve already told the story in a blog I’ve called: “Hey, I’m Talking To YOU! — Choice And An Unspoken Communication About Ethics.”

The tale is about how my Israeli client had made a quite critical choice and how, in the process, he had won the trust and admiration of his national and international team…

Its about how you can communicate your ethical values indirectly. Hence the title of my blog...

There’s a sequel to this story…

In the sequel to this same story, my client taught me something else about negotiation that I value to this very day—something that I have often repeated to groups I’m invited to talk to. Stay tuned. That might be in another blog I might share with. Then again, maybe I’ll keep you in suspense a little longer…

Enjoy!

Michael

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