How do you use “know your enemy” in business? By Ken Marlin, Author

How do you use “know your enemy” in business? By Ken Marlin, Author

Ken Marlin is an American investment banker, international strategist, and author of The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street: 11 Key Principles from Battlefield to Boardroom.

He is the founder and managing partner of Marlin & Associates, an award-winning boutique investment bank and strategy advisor. He is a member of the “Market Data Hall of Fame” and, in 2011, Institutional Investor (“II”), the international publisher, named Ken as one of II’s “Tech 50”, which honored the 50 most “disruptive” figures in the financial technology sector. In 2014, Institutional Investor again, named Marlin to their “Tech 50” as one of the 50 most influential people in the financial technology industry. In 2015 Institutional Investor named Marlin as one of the 35 most influential people in Fintech finance.

Ken Marlin talks about the importance of understanding your competitors or the “people on the other side of the table” when it comes to their strengths, capabilities, and motivations.

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principle four is no the enemy so how important is it in business and the battlefield to understand the opposing force or your enemy as you talk about the enemy in business is usually not someone trying to kill you nor are you trying to kill them in most cases what we are talking about is a situation in which you are negotiating with somebody who is on the other side of the table and in that context there are many books about negotiating there I took a course up at Harvard from the people who wrote getting to yes and they talked about knowing your best alternative to a negotiated agreement which I quite agree with I've read and taken classes with other people have got negotiating tactics and they talked about things like anchoring where where the first person to either set a price or a time limit or whatever has some advantage because then everything gets negotiated off of that anchor point these are all very important there are also but what I get to in the book about knowing the other side is about knowing the strengths weaknesses capabilities and in particular the motivations of the people on the other side of the table nobody thinks of himself as a bad guy right nobody thinks of themselves as irrational nobody thinks that what they're asking for is unreasonable you may think that of them but they don't think that of themselves to the extent that you can understand the constraints that the people and the other side are under to the extent you can understand why they want what they want it puts you in a much stronger position to negotiate a solution that they're likely to accept and you are now I'm not in any way advocating being a wimp I'm not advocating going need if I'm not ad Kaeding that just because somebody wants something that you have to give them that something that's different when I work for a seller part of our job is to help that seller get the best possible price when I work for a buyer part of our job is to help that buyer pay the lowest possible price but we also want to get a deal done so understanding those strengths weaknesses capabilities and motivations of the people on the other side of the table are key to getting that done those other things that we talked about anchoring and best alternative to a negotiated agreement and the like or tactics that you use in order to try to get to that agreement but if you don't understand the other side you'll never get there you


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