Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson has quite the reputation for brokering deals with thugs. Here's how he does it.
"Let's send Richardson," President Bill Clinton once said, according to Bill Richardson, a former Clinton cabinet member. "Bad people like him."
Richardson, who is also the former governor of New Mexico and a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has carried out high-stakes diplomatic negotiations with dictators, thugs, and other slightly more peace-friendly world powers, is also the author of How to Sweet-Talk a Shark: Strategies and Stories From a Master Negotiator. In it, along with his co-author Kevin Bleyer, he spins yarns about his negotiating successes--and a couple of cringe-inducing failures--with two generations of North Korean leaders, Fidel Castro, and Saddam Hussein.
I decided to ask Richardson for some lessons he's learned from those years of high-stakes deal brokering that could be more broadly applicable to any boardroom or dining-room table. He shared four.
1) Only take a gamble if it's your very last option.