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Breaking Down Succession S03 Negotiation and Communication Scenes

Episode 01: Secession

00:02:50

Kendall getting up from the bathtub with a swagger

  • A powerful example of an activation. Before you have a big talk, speech, presentation, you can psyche yourself up and do something to activate another personality. To mentally give yourself permission to do what you need to;
  • It may be a lucky item, a music playlist, allowing an alter ego to come out, or others;

00:11:30

Logan’s team figures out how to deal with Kendall

  • Basic strategy here. They are trying to discredit Kendall, while at the same time hedging against the blowback from the cruise revelations;
  • I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Roman’s point is not bad in this case. He says they should claim Kendall is taking advantage of what the poor women suffered by trying to use it as motivation to get Logan out. And naturally, accusing Kendall of being a junkie and mentally insane;

00:16:25

Gerri call with President team member

  • I love how they are, in a very subtle manner, asking the President and the government to do something to block the investigation;
  • This is a great example of a complex negotiation with multiple actors. And even if you convince one person, there may be others who can throw a wrench in the works;
  • Also, the “straight shooter” line is intriguing. By this I mean that the AG (I think it’s the AG) that likes to think of herself as a straight shooter, which means she has to go through the process and investigate. But it doesn’t mean she will be very hostile towards the company. But it doesn’t mean she won’t either. It just means she wants to go through the process. So this is an example of how someone needs to do something, they need to follow a process, and they’re rigid, but it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s for them or against them;
  • I love how Gerri becomes more direct as they’re losing support. They say, “It’s out of our hands”, and she says directly, “Not if you grab it”;

00:22:30

Logan distributes responsibilities before boarding the plane

  • I love how Logan is splitting his team and letting each person in charge of one component. They are under heavy fire from Sandy’s team’s offer, the legal trouble, and Kendall’s declarations. They need to be holding the fort, HARD, and every person must be focused. This is a good strategy to keep credibility and to show all those accusations of lack of governance and competence are not true;
  • To be honest, this is one of the first good management decisions I’ve seen portrayed in this series;
  • To be honest, I don’t know about Connor, though. He is extremely arrogant and comes across as it. Especially when he doesn’t like someone;

00:25:35

Rava allows Kendall and the team in her home

  • I like how Rava is politely persisting. Kendall wants to pretty much use her home – I assume this is her home, since they’re separated, and he’s asking for authorisation – and she still asks, “Are these guys vetted?”. She’s holding her ground while still doing Kendall the favor;
  • It’s a good lesson here. Just because you’re doing someone else a favor, doesn’t mean you can’t set the terms;
  • A line that I don’t like is when Kendall tells Rava, “Oh, I needed a hiding place, etc etc, and by the way, I missed you and the kids”. This is an abysmal line. Do not place your family as a second priority. I would rather he say nothing than say that he wanted to prioritise business and THEN the family;
  • This is a perfect example of WRONG positioning. That is, you can either not include something, or include it in second place. When you include it in second place, you may actually be causing a worse impression than not including it at all. Important lesson. He should have mentioned only business, and then later on, in a completely different conversation, talked about how he missed his family;
  • Now, I know this is the type of thing that someone says when they’re nervous. He’s walking into his ex’s apartment, with a team of people, and a lot of pressure. But still. There are times when it’s important to hold the tension and not say something stupid just to kill the tension. This is such a moment;

00:28:35

Logan blows up at Frank + CEO Discussion

  • Again, perfect Dominant attitude. Frank talks about compromise, and Logan does not even entertain it. He wants to fight, and full war. That’s it. True Dominant attitude. He would rather either completely destroy the other side, or go down swinging, rather than compromise and look weak. In this case, I believe it’s a massive weakness. They should have admitted the problem, and at this stage possibly cut a deal, and fired someone up high. Which is what they wanted to do before Kendall went rogue, I guess. But it still can be done;
  • In terms of the CEO discussion, Gerri does seem like the wisest choice. The person does need to have expertise, and honestly, with a situation of multiple women victimised, they should place a woman there, as it communicates more of an image of cleaning up and not discriminating;
  • Also, the way they are doing this is, unfortunately, completely unrealistic. They have a board. This is not the first time in the show where they make it seem like Logan and 2 other people decide everything on their own, and the board aligns with them, but it’s the opposite in reality. The board is their boss. In the real world, whatever suggestion Logan and Karl and Gerri have goes through the board and must be approved, and people may have differing opinions and motivations. This is possibly the most unrealistic aspect of the show so far. The executives bossing the board around, and not the opposite;

00:34:45

Kendall speaks with the firm

  • OK, so I’m not an expert on corporate communications or PR by any means, but I think that Kendall’s plan is spotty at best. Getting young kids and rappers to do cool tweets should not be what he should be aiming for;
  • I think he should start by defining what he wants. Is he going for the CEO position against the current Logan team? Is he making an offer? Or is he just trying to take his father down? Because his communication should depend on his goals. If he’s trying to be CEO, he should communicate good management philosophy and practices to contrast against his father. If he wants to back a bid to buy the company, he should be saying why the current leverage structure, financials, operations make no sense;
  • In other words, I think he is jumping to the vehicle, the medium, while he still hasn’t figured out what’s his goal in the first place. That’s what matters most, in my opinion. A trash message is a trash message whether on Twitter, YouTube, boardroom presentation, etc;

00:38:55

Roman tries to convince Logan

  • Roman being Roman. This is hilarious. “It should be me because it should be me”. He did one thing right, which is to accept mentoring from someone else to rise to the occasion later. I like this. But he failed the primary message, which is tailoring his message to a Dominant. Logan likes a killer, wants a killer, and Roman stuttering and saying, “I’m not sure” won’t get there;
  • Also, later he switches the pitch to Gerri being CEO. It’s not bad, but it’s not the original pitch. He could have pitched them both as a team since the beginning. But this had zero preparation, and it shows;
  • Btw, this is a realistic example of what happens when you don’t prepare your pitch. This is very realistic. You will stutter, and you will have new ideas that you didn’t rehearse, and that you are getting out now under pressure;

00:43:05

Shiv tries to persuade Lisa to get on Logan’s side versus Kendall

  • OK, so I don’t know if it’s the pressure, but Shiv really blew it here. After she had an excellent negotiation track record in Season 2. I don’t know if she’s nervous or this is bad writing, but she kind of lost it here;
  • It was clear from the beginning she didn’t expect the lawyer to help her. But she was still trying to obtain something. The best to do that would be to gently persist and ask her what could be done, test her boundaries, see what could be done. Or to convince her why taking Logan’s side could be more attractive, as a lawyer, than taking Kendall’s side;
  • Here, she stormed in like her brothers, with a Dominant, aggressive position, tried to get it on the spot, and lost. This is completely out of character. Again, it may be just her in a bad mood, or under pressure, but this is not how Shiv reacts usually. This is very weird;

00:50:25

Lisa briefs Kendall on what to expect from the legal case

  • All the points that Lisa is making are great. It’s a complex situation, where Kendall is pretty much taking down Logan, and by association the company, without trying to take down the company, and trying to defend it in the face of the shareholders, and all while trying to maintain his credibility;
  • My honest opinion is that Kendall has no chance. First, he has a track record of drug use and being irresponsible and similar things, and not mention his dad knows he killed the waiter. He is not coming out of this intact, and I have no idea how he even expects it at this point. He’s just dragging Lisa and her team to a loss at this point. I also find it irresponsible that they actually know about the waiter’s death, and they still Kendall has a chance;

Episode 02: Mass in Time of War

00:03:00

Kendall reassures Greg

  • Kendall is doing some things right and some things wrong here;
  • He’s reassuring Greg that he’s doing the right thing, and to not doubt himself now. That is OK, appealing to the morals. But it doesn’t seem like Greg really is about the morals;
  • Kendall knows about Greg’s background of having been disowned by his grandfather for going to the Logan side. And Greg is now leaving Logan to be on Kendall’s side. So he could focus on his worries, such as not having money, not being able to climb in the company, etc. It doesn’t mean he will get these things with Kendall, but just mentioning them can help disarm him, and make him more open. What negotiator Chris Voss calls the Accusations Audit. You take all the negative things the other side is thinking, such as, “You don’t care about me”, “You’re not going to prioritise me,” or whatever they are, and you verbalize them to the person and refute them. This leaves them with no weapons left to play. No accusations left. It would have been very effective here, especially considering that Greg is so flighty;
  • I think Greg needs security and success at Waystar above everything else, and Kendall’s priority should be about securing one;

(Side comment, I love how nobody trusts anyone at this point. Greg tells Tom he may be involved or not. He say, “I’m not necessarily involved”. Shiv didn’t tell her husband she’s meeting with Kendall, and Tom doesn’t let Greg know he doesn’t know about Shiv being there. Also, I love Stewy sending Kendall the trojan horse, just to stir the pot some more. This is so complex it’s borderline ridiculous)

00:09:30

Kendall trying to enlist Shiv

  • OK, so this conversation is disappointing. The writers seem to be dropping the ball here a little bit;
  • Shiv does something I like, which is she sees the credit in both sides. She states that Logan trying to sacrifice Kendall wasn’t right, but Kendall can’t also use the excuse it had to be done to get back at Logan;
  • I like how later, with both Shiv and Roman in the room, she still doesn’t give clarity in terms of her allegiance. She’s just obtaining information and talking about possibilities;

00:12:00

Logan rallying the troops

  • OK, so the good side of the Dominant comes out here. Although he is being aggressive and borderline insulting to his people, he is rallying them;
  • The focus on cutting the fat and focusing on the essential people, the essential actions, and getting everything done fast actually forces his people to work faster and harder;
  • There is a distinction that I love, which is venture capitalist Ben Horowitz’s “Wartime CEO vs. Peacetime CEO”. That is, there is a profile of people that succeeds when the company is in trouble and action must be taken fast – wartime – and another profile that succeeds in the long term, with personal development, culture, stable growth, etc – peacetime. And Logan – or any Dominant personality, for that matter – is an excellent wartime CEO;
  • His call to Connor, and telling him he’s his favorite is weird. I think he’s unraveling, and he’s trying to assert control. It’s a way of making himself feel secure. Remember dominating is not just in a negative way. You can dominate in a positive way. Calling someone nicknames, complimenting them, these are all actions that also show control over the person and assert dominance. I think this is Logan is doing this – to make himself feel in control, and not because Connor is particularly good. At all;

00:15:45

Greg’s messy conversation with his lawyer

  • This – and the legal profession in general – is a great example of persuading with what is explicitly stated or official. Greg’s mess makes this apparent;
  • For example, for this lawyer to be Greg’s attorney, he needs to explicitly declare him as his lawyer. And if he is his lawyer, then their conversation is officially under privilege and protected. If not, it’s completely different;
  • This is a great example of the different consequences of stating things explicitly or not, and under different circumstances;

00:24:35

Kendall’s pitch to this siblings

  • Kendall’s pitch is interesting. I don’t know a lot about the actual management, or strategy, but it doesn’t seem like there is a major problem with it at first glance. Move away from the US in specific to a global focus;
  • I love his statement of “Detoxify the brand and we can take it supersonic”. A brilliant example of effort manipulation. By this I mean: Waystar is a gigantic company. They are not going to take anything supersonic. Even if they have a radical change plan, such as what they do in buyouts, it’s still going to take time. But it’s easier to state that, if they remove Logan, that they can go “supersonic”. He’s making something complex and slow seem simple and fast. I absolutely love this metaphor. He’s simplifying it so much that it makes it very attractive. In reality? The company wouldn’t change much. Especially since we’ve seen that Kendall is pretty much the same as Logan. Same dominance, same blowing up relationships, same threats and vengeance. Just younger;
  • Also, this touches on another principle, which is that just making something seem new or a change makes it persuasive. All things being equal, the thing that is new or that represents a change from the usual seems persuasive. Kendall will probably do the exact same things as Logan did. But because he seems like he’s changing things, the message seems more attractive. Same reason why many politicians always state they’re changing things or bringing new ideas, even if they’re exactly the same thing. It’s how it works. New is powerful;

00:34:40

Kendall tries to enlist Sandy

  • Kendall is using a basic but powerful effect – the best way to join two enemies is to establish a third person who is the enemy of both. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Simple and powerful;

00:36:25

Marcia negotiates

  • Marcia is doing great. She’s being transactional and almost asking for the money as compensation for what she went through with Logan. Great point;
  • So, there are two things I love about this scene. The first is that she brought her own negotiator. While on Logan’s side we only have one person. The number of people at the table always counts. Having 2 versus 1, or 3 versus 1 creates a kind of impression of overpower. It’s almost like everyone gets a say in the final decision. So having multiple people smothers the other side;
  • The second thing I love is how her negotiator Celeste uses framing. She says, the numbers may seem high taken out of context, but if you compare them to the reputational costs and financial costs of Logan announcing a divorce while he’s trying to fight the Sandy bid, and with the legal cruise situation, they actually are small numbers. I love this. Genius move. And she said it in one simple, clear statement. Beautiful execution;

00:41:15

Roman asks about the illustration of this decision

  • Roman’s question of “What would the shape of this new reality be?”. Brilliant. Implementation intention;
  • Illustrating the specific details of how the company would be divided, the divisions would be run, etc, is much more powerful than just asking, “Do you agree with this or not?”;
  • The twist here is that the answer is terrible. This is a persuasion tool that works if the illustration is good and satisfies all parties. But if you use to illustrate an implementation which doesn’t satisfy the other side, then it’s just a waste. In this case, nobody is happy with who would be CEO or the geographical split;
  • So, a lot of potential here, but lacking the execution;
  • Later, in the scene, I love the effect of the donuts. This is clearly a psyop. Logan would not be nice and send donuts to his kids. under any circumstance. He doesn’t want their validation. This is clearly to stimulate some sort of emotion in them and get them to double-guess their decision to go against him. And it works on Connor. The donuts stop him and he’s out. This is a brilliant emotional manipulation tool;

00:48:00

Kendall blows up at his siblings

  • Clearly this isn’t working because the siblings have different goals. But notice here how Kendall resorts to threats and aggression once things start falling apart;
  • He could have tried to sway them with more arguments, or tried to keep the bridge for the long-term, but he decided to just burn the bridge and insult literally every single one of them;
  • Also, notice how he is being accusatory here. He’s forcing her to justify herself, and assuming he is the normal one, and that she is the weird one and must justify herself, and the same with the siblings. Assuming the other person is wrong, or different is a very powerful effect;
  • This would not work in any circumstance. These people are only speaking after this interaction because they are family… and because it’s a TV show I guess;

00:52:05

Greg and his grandfather’s lawyer

  • This short interaction shows us how Greg is getting manipulated. His grandfather’s lawyer has his own intentions, which is to probably take down Logan and the whole company;
  • Although Greg does seem to understand this, in real time, that they’re not there to really help him, he keeps quiet and obeys. This is going to blow up later. My bet would be he gets disowned again. Oh man, Greg is a mess;

Episode 03: The Disruption

00:05:40

“We get it” tag line discussion

  • I find the tag line “We get it” pretty funny, and it’s precisely because of what everyone says. There are so many ways that this can be distorted;
  • That’s one of the downsides of using more general tag lines, for example. They can be interpreted in many different ways. I immediately thought of what Shiv said, that it could be interpreted as in, “Yes, we get it”, as in dismissive, but it can definitely be bastardised. Also, it may seem a bit cynical if they don’t do anything major. For example, if they keep Logan as CEO and say “We get it”, nobody will believe it;
  • So there’s a lot more that comes in here, not just the actual tag line words;

00:08:00

Tom convincing Greg to switch lawyers

  • First, I love how Tom is demoting Greg to a hidden, basement-like office in order for him to take the company lawyer;
  • It’s important to notice here that nobody cares about Greg. This is heartbreaking, but true. His grandfather’s lawyer just wants to use him to destroy Waystar, and the company lawyers will just throw him to the grinder to protect the higher-ups if need be;
  • I also love how honest Greg is, just saying, “Hey, they gave me a watch”, as in, “They did something for me”, and Tom immediately calls him out on it, saying, “Of course, we would give you a watch also, and much more, you idiot”;

00:13:30

Shiv convincing Kendall to lay low

  • I like how this illustrates it’s a complex negotiation. That is, Kendall wants to take down Logan, but he doesn’t want to destroy the company. And vice-versa;
  • So I like how Shiv is drawing a boundary here and telling Kendall to lay low, not give interviews, not show up, to not cause problems with the shareholder vote;
  • It’s almost like following the Geneva Convention in war. There are specific things you can do to attack the other side, but there are major lines you shouldn’t cross, otherwise you ruin it for the whole world;
  • Also, I love Kendall’s character development here. He’s apologing for being forceful. This doesn’t fit the profile of the Dominant personality, but I really like it. He’s putting someone else in front of his need to win;

00:16:20

Roman can’t identify a single good memory with his father

  • I like how hilarious this is. Naturally they need to lean in on a good memory Roman had with his father, but he can’t find any;
  • Again, remember the Dominant, aggressive attitude of Logan, and the consequences it causes. He leaves no good memories behind, and focuses just on winning above everything else, and only respects his children when they do it as well. Everything else, such as spending time with others and working on the relationship is precisely what they DON’T want;
  • Out of curiosity, this is why the Nurturer personality type, who is slow and emotional, focusing on building the relationship, is the natural enemy of the Dominant. They stand for opposite things. One is all about facts and winning over any type of rapport, and the other is about the relationship above any type of achievement;

00:22:50

Kendall being “in the conversation”

  • Quick point here. Kendall is both right and wrong. Yes, he is being roasted, but it’s more publicity. And this added exposure brings more eyeballs to him, which amplifies his message;
  • One one hand, it’s bad publicity, but on the other hand, the only thing that matters is that it’s publicity. But he has to use that added attention in a useful way, though;

00:25:10

Tom contemplating jail

  • Tom offering to go to jail to protect Logan and extracting something in return;
  • This could work, and it’s valuable, but it’s very very important to do it the right way;
  • Remember Logan likes a killer, and hates someone who is just sucking up for validation. Tom will succeed here if he presents this as him being brave and sacrificing himself. Not as validation. Also, paradoxically, if he does it in a manner that shows respect and values Logan. It’s a fine line here, naturally. Respecting without kissing up. Almost like respecting in a proud manner, like it costs you;
  • Also, he should obtain something in return in writing right away. As Shiv herself has experienced in the past, Logan can’t be trusted. He will use whoever it is in order to get a win, and discard them after. It should be something immediate and concrete. Future goodwill doesn’t even exist with a Dominant personality;

00:40:00

Shiv’s talk

  • This is an excellent example of a pattern interrupt. It’s clear that it’s Kendall doing this, and to disrupt his sister. But in specific, let’s focus on how important the talk was. It’s very probable Shiv prepared this for some time, and it wasn’t a personal meeting. It was a public meeting with hundreds of people in the company;
  • So, out of the many ways that Kendall could have compromised his sister, or the new management in general, Kendall chose the most public way that would hurt the most. I mean, he could have taken it even further, with something compromising her, but still pretty brutal;

00:45:10

Shiv’s retaliatory letter

  • Then we have Shiv’s retaliation. It’s equally brutal, and she hits on all the right notes;
  • This is an example of how effective persuasion may NOT be what you want. For example, when in an open fight with someone, you may want to hold back, just to show a simple sign of strength. Or you may go all out, which may in fact take away the other side’s credibility, but the relationship may become irreparable after it. Given the TV show nature, they’ll probably be kissing and making up by the end of the season, but in real life, this is the type of thing you just don’t do. You don’t come back from this unless the person is a really good sport;
  • Also, I think this is disproportionate. Shiv has always been the level-headed person, but this is a pretty brutal technique. And, in fact, this increases its effect. What I mean by this is that something being out of character brings more attention. If someone is always aggressive, and they are aggressive one more time, no news. But if someone is generally nice, and suddenly they are super aggressive, it will have a completely different intensity. And that’s exactly what the show’s presenter Sophie says at one point. “She said all of these things, and she’s the nice one”. It makes it seem like there’s EVEN MORE to tell;
  • This is also why introverts and shy people can be devastating at negotiations. Because they are usually well-mannered and quiet, when they come alive, then everyone pays much more attention to them;

Episode 04: Lion in the Meadow

00:03:30

Roy team conference call

  • The company is in a sensitive state since Kendall’s antics and the Roys’ attack back on him, so it makes absolute sense to present a strong image, otherwise they lose the company;
  • I love how, again, these people learn nothing. Both Kendall and Logan are Dominants, willing to blow things up on a whim because they don’t get what they want. Kendall refuses the meeting and risks losing the company, and Logan decides to go after the President. None of these are optimal actions;
  • Also, in my personal opinion, I don’t know what this shareholder expects. Kendall just blasted his father in the public, and his sister destroyed him in a public letter. How does the shareholder even expect these to be on the same team?
  • Later, Roman with Gerri thinks of dredging up a homeless man that was forced to tattoo Kendall’s name on his forehead. As Roman states, and very well, bringing this up is a great way to take credibility away from Kendall, especially since he claims to be so woke and defending underrepresented people. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Roman makes a lot of sense here;

00:10:00

Logan convinces Greg to take their lawyer

  • Logan is using two techniques here that I love and that are very effective. Effort manipulation and illustrating progress;
  • Effort manipulation is about making it seem like something is less effort than it is. Most effort we make is mental effort. So if you can make something seem less effortful, then it is. Saying something is ready to sign is an example;
  • Illustrating progress is another technique. That is, if you show that you are already far along a process, the person won’t want to leave it now. For example, if Logan said that you still need to define the contract, talk with the lawyer, etc, there’s a lot of steps left. For example, you’re at Step 1 of 10. But if you say most things are done and you’re almost at the end, only needing to sign, that’s Step 9 out of 10, for example. This triggers consistency biases and sunk cost biases, for example. That is, since we started something, we may as well finish it, instead of actively choosing to end it now, when we’re so near the end;
  • Also, make no mistake, Greg choosing the Waystar lawyer means he’s gonna get screwed;
  • I love how Greg is hesitating and a mess, AS USUAL, and Logan just blocks him. He asks “What can I get?”, and Logan says, “Nope, not how it works”. I love it. And also, this isn’t just Logan, it’s any sane person. You need a clear ask. Period;

00:16:20

Tom’s “Terminal Tom” label

  • This is a devastating nickname, but very well executed in terms of labeling and bullying. Labeling is a very dangerous persuasion tool, as labels are sticky. Especially if they are catchy, with an alliteration (That’s why I thought of naming my channel Perfect Persuasion, for example, also);
  • A label that is catchy can spread like wildfire, and the person can be bullied using that label;

00:18:30

Connor negotiating his position with Shiv

  • Typical discrediting technique used by Connor. He doesn’t like what Shiv is offering him, so he tries to label her as not doing anything and being just a representative, just an empty figure with no power;
  • Standard procedure for someone arrogant as Connor. But to be honest, I don’t know whether Logan or someone else at Waystar would even offer him something better. Doesn’t stop him from trying though;

00:25:15

Roman negotiating with the homeless man

  • Roman is just offering him money. I would have a slower negotiation and figure out what he wants, and then slowly raise the number, trying not to give him the specific number;
  • But Roman just starts off shooting and offering him a million dollars. Maybe he doesn’t care about money, but it still feels reckless;
  • Also, he’s negotiating for the photos, when in reality, negotiating for the homeless man to give testimony or a statement here would be the most devastating thing for Kendall;

00:32:30

Kendall and Logan negotiate with the shareholder

  • Kendall is assuming that Logan and the shareholder are in bed together and trying to convince him to retract his statement. It is possible;
  • From the shareholder’s point of view, remember he lost money when Waystar’s valuation lowered due to these shenaenigans. And as he stated, he wants to make the money back, and for that, stability is the word. Period. He can’t have a company with people getting sued and management being switched regularly. It won’t help it raise its valuation;
  • I love the mind games Logan plays with Kendall, accusing him of being paranoid and his drugs screwing with his mind. He senses weakness and he’s exploring;
  • I love the short conversation between the shareholder and Kendall, because he distills the situation very well. Kendall can’t tell him he has nothing, or he loses credibility, but he can’t say it’s too serious, or he loses the shareholder. He has to make it seem like the problem is serious enough to oust his dad, but not serious enough to compromise the company;

00:38:30

Logan and Shiv phone call

  • Logan makes it clear that, since Shiv didn’t get a win, didn’t negotiate what was needed, it’s up to Karl now;
  • Shiv tries to appeal to his loyalty to not lose the opportunity, and states there’s a line, but I love Logan’s quote that nothing is a line, and everything is always moving. In other words, there is nothing he won’t do to win, and nothing he will do just for loyalty or likability. This is a very powerful line, and really encapsulates his thinking;
  • Also, I’m with Logan in this case. I mean, Shiv didn’t pull her weight here. Although, to be fair, neither have Karl, or Frank, during the whole series;

00:40:30

Shareholder requesting statement from Logan and Kendall

  • I love how the shareholder here is using the technique of intent labeling. That is, although Kendall and Logan claim in subtle ways that they can work together, and it’s functional, the shareholder wants them to state directly, in the first person, that it is a functional situation;
  • I love this technique, because it’s excellent to obtain commitment. By stating something in the first person, you are almost giving your word, and it’s very unlikely you go back on it. It makes you more likely to act according to what you stated;
  • Also, I love how they go back to the attacks on each other, each thinking they have the upper hand, and Logan says something that will surprise no one, which is that he would rather lose it all than see Kendall taking control. Again, blowing up things on a whim;
  • Now later on, when Logan is gasping for ar, this is a screwed up situation, because it literally seems like he’s on the verge of a heart attack, and Kendall keeps insulting him, and not only that, but he turns it up even higher. I’m assuming that he has no idea what he’s doing. Also, I don’t know whether it’s really a heart attack or not;

00:52:00

Shiv convincing editor

  • Now this is hilarious. Shiv is trying to persuade the editor, by force, to start a new segment attacking the President as retaliation for not helping Logan in the investigation thing;
  • The editor says something very true, which is about his credibility and reputation. Although we all have a little bit of bias, you can cultivate an image of being someone objective with credibility. But the key is, the moment you start to do something for your own gains, for an agenda, and stop being objective, is the moment that whole reputation comes crashing down. As the saying goes, reputations are created in years and destroyed in seconds, and Shiv is asking him to do exactly that;
  • This is a bit depressing in a way, how she puts it. She’s his boss, so he’s just going to do it sooner or later, and it’s his choice how much to resist;

00:53:00

Gerri and Roman about the homeless man

  • Gerri is completely right. By releasing the photos, Roman would destroy Kendall, but also himself. Roman doesn’t care, because he’s like a suicide bomber, but this is true. In many cases, you should be negotiating from a defensive position, not an offensive one. That is, focusing more on protecting your credibility and reputation from attacks, rather than trying to destroy others even if it hurts you too;

00:54:30

Kendall and Roman about the shareholder

  • Them losing the shareholder is serious, and I could see this happening. But the key here is, I don’t see this as being due to Logan getting the heat exhaustion. More than that, it was clear neither Kendall or Logan were going to back off. So no way in a million years were they presenting a united front;

Episode 05: Retired Janitors of Idaho

00:05:15

The team debriefs

  • So, the current management team is competing with the Private Equity team’s buyout proposal for for shareholder votes. This is similar to what happened with the Barbarians at the Gate LBO. Two teams, and the shareholders mut choose one;
  • As Karl and Frank are stating, they tried to come to an agreement, but the PE team demanded a lot of board seats in order to effectively control the company. And the Waystar team didn’t want to provide that, so no deal, and it goes to a vote;
  • Also, I love Roman’s line, which gives the episode its title, which is that it’s going to be up to the retired janitors of Idaho.
  • By this he makes a great point, which is that most stock in a company is not held by majority shareholders
    • There are some, as the shareholder in the previous episode with 4%. But usually, it’s hundreds of pension funds and mutual funds that have 0.1% or similar. And these have no sophistication whatsoever to understand what’s going on, so it’s a lot less targeted. Instead of convincing 5 or 10 qualified shareholders, you have to convince 100 or 200 random people;
    • So it becomes a game of making the good impression, not having a solid plan;
  • Gerri’s line about having a list of shareholders for last-minute persuasion is completely random. If they can persuade these people last minute, THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORKING THEM BEFORE! But I get it. It’s the list of swing voters, in a way, which are the low-hanging fruit. I get it;

00:08:00

Kendall and Stewy talking

  • Again, Kendall here is blowing things up. In this case, he’s calmly stating that Logan will blow things up. Notice that going to a vote can make results random for either party, so nobody actually wants it;
  • And what’s he’s stating is that Logan is crazy, and doesn’t care, so if he doesn’t get his demands, or they don’t come to a compromise, Logan is willing to take it to a vote, and still believe, in a delusional way, he will win;
  • He’s right on all counts. Also, this is a great intimidation technique. It’s akin to saying the other person has a nuke and they’re willing to use it. They are a madman that can blow everything up with one press of the button. This puts the fear of God on the other side and they just cave to demands, no matter how ridiculous. Unfortunately, it’s a technique that works very well until the other person stands up to the bully. How do you think Putin gets away with so much stuff?
  • I love how Kendall says, “At this point it’s just managing egos”. By this point, he should mean this ENTIRE SHOW;

00:09:30

Logan taking advantage of Stewy/Sandy back at the table

  • I love how this is a disturbing illustration of a negotiation with a Dominant. So Kendall convinces the PE team to be back on the table. Stewy and Sandy. They are being reasonable;
  • But Logan getting what he wants sees it as a sign of weakness from the other side, and his immediate reaction is to exploit it even more;
  • This is why negotiating with a Dominant is an uphill battle. They will take everything, respect zero concessions from you, make zero concessions of their own, and demand even more. There is no way to win without getting hurt badly. If you can avoid working with a Dominant, or you can just tell one to go away, your blood pressure will immediately increase;

00:11:30

Stewy and Sandy negotiation with the Roys

  • First, seeing Sandy in a wheelchair, since being relatively healthy in Season 1, heartbreaking. Reminds you life is short;
  • Their terms are mostly reasonable. The veto power on the Roy children as CEO may be reasonable, considering the whole mess that has been occurring with Kendall, but more than a real demand, I think it’s a smart negotiation play to drive a wedge between the Roys. Remember the Roy siblings have something to lose with this, naturally, but not the executives like Gerri or Karl. So this effectively splits them into two teams if they can’t agree on this, which they won’t, because the Roy kids have huge egos;
  • I love how Sandy’s daughter uses illustrating progress again. She’s stating, “Hey, we’ve come so far, we’re almost at the end, it would be a shame if you destroy all this hard work based on a detail”. Beautiful, beautiful execution!

00:15:00

Connor asking Logan for a job

  • Logan states what everyone is thinking. Connor was never interested in the company and he has no experience, so there’s no reason why he should not have a job;
  • One technique that Connor resorts to that I hate is pure gaslighting. So Logan states he was never interested, and he asks, “Or was I never encouraged?”. Come on. I hate this type of attitude. This is disgusting negotiating logic and empty rethoric;

00:19:30

Greg talks with his grandfather and his lawyer

  • Greg didn’t go with his grandfather’s lawyer, and loses his inheritance;
  • This isn’t surprising to me. He already threatened this back in Season 1 when Greg went to work for the Roys. In fact, I’m surprised he was even considering Greg;
  • This is a tough situation because Greg’s grandfather communicated, unofficially, that Greg would lose the inheritance if he didn’t use his lawyer. But his lawyer, naturally, has his own plans. So Greg, in a way, was being blackmailed into getting his inheritance, and he failed;

00:27:30

Logan’s answer on the deal

  • Logan is willing to blow the deal. It’s obvious that something is going on here with his health. Based on his pain and need to go to the bathroom, maybe kidney stones? Anyway, despite his pain, you can notice how he literally doesn’t care. Period. Until the end;
  • Also, notice, naturally, how easy it is for Shiv to communicate this. Everyone is biased. Naturally, one of the Roy siblings can easily say the negotiation blocking them as CEO is done. If it were Gerri or Karl, they would be more hesitant in blowing up a deal due to this;

00:33:00

The Roys evaluating Logan’s decisions

  • I love how they find that Logan has an UTI, making him crazy, and start to reevaluate his decisions, and everyone starts interpreting his decisions how they want, such as Connor saying he got the job. Again, we’re all biased. And in these situations, what is considered explicit, and what is considered to have been said can be up for debate;
  • I also love how Kendall storms in to tell them not to blow up the deal. Although he is right, he does not have the moral high ground AT ALL. I mean, he just threatened Stewy into accepting to make a deal. That’s what his “hard work” actually is. So he didn’t do a lot more than his siblings at all;

00:43:00

Shiv accepting Sandy’soffer

  • In this scene, watch closely Shiv’s demeanor. She seems humble, broken, cautious. This is the demeanor of someone who can get easily taken advantage of in a negotiation;
    • I would be polite, but still proud, and announce the decision. On the opposite, Shiv here is almost announcing that she can be taken advantage of due to the body language. She’s very apologetic;
  • Also, I consider it a bad move to not give a justification for the change. She said “We just took another look at it”. But Sandy’s daughter was in the room in the previous negotiation, and she clearly knows there was discourse;
    • It would have been smarter to say “We negotiated among ourselves and came to other compromises”, or something similar;
    • A very silly but super effective persuasion principle is that giving a justification for something ALWAYS makes it more persuasive. Saying “Because”. Literally just saying “Buy this because it’s good” is more persuasive than “Buy this”. Any justification makes something more persuasive;
    • Naturally, a good justification is a lot better than a generic one, which is better than an empty justification. But use any of the three if you can. Here, Shiv gave none. Wasted persuasion potential;
  • Sandy’s daughter says that there may be one more thing, so keep your phone on. Great technique. She’s preparing her for another hit that may be coming;
    • Then, Shiv counters with a great question. “Is there something that we can work out here?”. I would change it to “What can we work out here?”. Remember, a yes or no question can get you a “no”. But using an open-ended question assumes there is always a way. Basic principle of implementation intention. Also, what Chris Voss would call a “calibrated question”. Super effective negotiation tool, and very elegant. Polite but effective;
  • OK, so Shiv tries a gamble here, which is to offer Sandy’s daughter – which funnily, I see, is also called Sandi – a board seat of her own. This is a good technique to try and turn her against her dad, or to just make her have her own motivations to make him accept the deal. I really like it;
    • But I even like more what she does next. She tells her to tell her dad that this wasn’t offered, it was obtained at great cost, and that the Roys were screwed over. Perfect. This is brilliant. This is what I call “giving with a sacrifice”. When you give something, don’t make it look easy, or the person won’t see the value in it. State very specifically what was the sacrifice involved in giving it, and they will value it more. Also, I don’t know if Sandy is a Dominant or not, but if he is, he will love this, because the satisfaction of thinking you screwed over the other side is brilliant. He will love that;

00:45:40

Roman and the president

  • OK, so this is a worst-case scenario, by the way. Nothing good could have come out of this. Logan decided, in a fit of dominance, to threaten the president and make him cave. It did not work, and the president is calling, angry. So they either need to retract, or to try and make amends. At this stage, effort is needed to repair the relationship. Or double down on the threats;
  • Roman here does nothing. He’s useless LOL. He flatters the president, which to be fair, is a persuasion technique, and it always works a little – there’s scientific proof that people love flattery even when they know it’s flattery – but he’s not moving the relationship forward in any way. It’s not really productive or interesting;
  • Also, the President is cutting ATN access, which seems fair. Remember, Logan threatened him, and attacked him, and although this can work in some cases, there’s an equal probability it blows up in your face and provokes an attack. And here it is;
  • Finally, 4 board seats for both Waystar and Sandy’s team has specific effects. In this case, it takes away power from other board members and concentrates it more on these two sides. This is not necessarily good. It’s like having a Parliament with multiple political parties, and you’re taking two extreme ones, who are enemies, and giving them more members, and taking away members from the moderates. It will contribute to more animosity. In other words, you’re concentrating voting power on two parties who have been enemies, and will probably still be enemies. Not good;

00:54:00

Logan reacting to the offer

  • Again, Logan with his typical attitude. I would have won, you suck, I would have been better, etc. He wasn’t even mentally able, but he thinks he was the winner;
  • Proof why it’s tough to work with Dominants. Even if they just screw things up, they still they’re the best, and everyone else sucks;

00:56:00

Logan stands up Kendall

  • This was a typical power play by Logan. He made Kendall come to him, and then decided he had no time for him. This is pure subjugation and humiliation;

Episode 06: What it Takes

00:02:00

Kendall prepped

  • Kendall’s lawyer Lisa is giving him good advice. Being humble, straighforward, no agenda. Realize that, in court, or in a deposition, your image and how you come across can decide a lot of things;
    • That’s why criminals always look clean and always regret what they did;
    • If you come across as aggressive, a know it all, or underestimate the other side, you will get judged in a harsher manner;
  • What Lisa mentions about Waystar organising an internal investigation, cooperating and so on, which takes away teeth from the case. Absolutely
    • If the company seems to already be making amends before going on trial, or being investigated, they immediately look better;
    • This is why I suggested this being the best course of action in the first place, from the first moment. If you show you’re doing something about it, you would be surprised at the amount of companies that get a pass on nasty stuff they do;

00:06:00

Roys repositioning the President’s investigation

  • This a very good example of reframing something. They are trying to spin the investigation on Waystar as being the product of an overzealous President or DOJ, and making it seem like the President is the one trying to use this case to gain an advantage, versus just doing his job;
  • This is a very common technique. Compromise someone’s credibility, and by consequence, you compromise the work they are doing;

00:10:30

Political summit

  • I love how Tom states that the donors and endorsers are picking the next President, and Shiv says that’s not how it works. In fact, it both is and isn’t;
  • Many of these donors have a lot of power and connections, and the political candidates are trying to please as many as they can to obtain their support. So obtaining donations and endorsements from these contacts doesn’t mean you become President, but you go a long way;
  • In the old days, these people would be what are called kingmakers. That is, the people who make decisions in the shadows and pick the next king. You don’t know who they are or how they operate. You just see the new public face be presented. Billions has a great arc in Season 2 precisely about kingmaking;

00:16:30

Tom wanting to talk about prison

  • I like how in this case, Tom wants to talk about prison, and Shiv doesn’t, and she just asks, “What else is there to discuss?”;
  • This is a great example of how, sometimes, when someone is worried, they just need to blow off steam and talk about it. So it’s not a logical thing of, wanting to discuss this, or that, or a list of topics. It’s an emotional thing. It’s just about the process of talking, and the process of getting it out;

00:21:00

Greg asking to pin his crimes on Tom

  • OK, I love how this is a great example of how being tired affects someone’s resilience. Greg is asking to pin his wrongdoing on Tom, since he’s going to prison anyway, and Tom just accepts without fighting back;
  • This is an excellent example of why being tired is devastating in terms of defending yourself. When you are tired, you accept things without judging or evaluating. And this is precisely what Tom did here;
  • There’s also the possibility he was just being a nice person, but given his history – human footstool, and all – it’s much more likely that he is simply tired and did not even think of something in return, and just accepted it;

00:22:30

Kendall’s deposition

  • So Kendall seems unsure, guilty, here. Seems like he went with his lawyer’s advice, and I am impressed. As a hardcore Dominant, I would be expecting Kendall to blow everything up and start threatening the investigators;
  • The only situation, in real life, when a Dominant becomes like this is when they are completely broken. When they see no way out and they are utterly helpless. Then they degenerate into being needy and unsure. It may be very well what happened here;
  • What Kendall says is very true. Logan is more powerful, so they are going after Kendall, who is more of the low-hanging fruit. I mean, it’s pretty naive he didn’t realise this already. Investigators want results. In many cases, it’s better to focus on the lower-level person you can get, rather than gamble it all on trying to get the higher-level person who is much more protected. I don’t see how he hasn’t realised this by now;
  • Also, he does blow up at the investigators. I KNEW IT! Kendall is still Kendall. I actually like what he did here. I’m not a legal professional by any means, but when someone is innocent, they are usually angry. Because guilty people have already made peace with what happens. So he’s almost proving his innocence and trying to shift the focus away from him by being offensive. I don’t know whether they actually have evidence on him, in which case it’s just souring the relationship, but if he’s still potentially innocent, I actually like this move. He’s playing the card of being treated unfairly, of being abused by the justice system, and so on. Again, I have no idea what the consequences of this are legally, but in terms of persuasion, it actually adds credibility to him. They may paint him as emotional, though;
  • OK, so talking to Kendall, Lisa mentions he didn’t volunteer information, acted superior, and obfuscated. OK, so I was wrong, he did seem humble, but he was not acting humble. She’s completely right. If he doesn’t collaborate with them, and show honesty, the investigators are going to be much more brutal with him;

00:26:40

Kendall fires Lisa and moves on

  • OK, so literally 2 scenes after, Kendall fires Lisa. She was trying to force him to be humble, so he fired her. Ask me if I am surprised. Am I surprised? Not in the slightest. Kendall will force any lawyer to play this his style, and fire them or insult them or threaten them if they don’t play ball. And he will also insult and threaten the investigators too, probably;

00:32:30

Mencken criticizing ATN

  • OK so this candidate, Mencken, is criticizing ATN and Logan. Considering they have so much power in terms of the donors, this is already a bad move. But considering how vindictive and Dominant Logan is, you can clearly predict what will happen to this guy. I don’t know if the TV show will be realistic in this sense, but if it is, I predict he’s getting destroyed, insulted, attacked, or a mix of all of these!
  • Or, in a complete twist, maybe he considers him a Dominant as well, a killer, and he gets picked;

00:34:00

The Roys picking the candidate

  • OK, so while the political discourse part does seem to make sense, I find this a severe flaw in terms of realism how Logan did not react to being offended by Mencken, and is considering him just like the others. Remember, Dominants are big babies, and they will blow up any relationship over any type of minor disrespect. Logan has treated a lot more important people a lot worse due to a lot less disrespect;
  • OK so I love how Roman does this ironic bit where he pretends to have empathy and admire Shiv, and says, “I just want to say I admire you so much”, and then it’s a racist joke. So, just like empathy can be used before an ask to get them to drop their guard and hit harder, it can also be used before a joke to make it a lot more powerful;

00:38:00

Kendall convincing Tom

  • I like the first principle that Kendall uses here. Adverse Transparency. Admits there are problems with the case, and it’s not strong, it’s just fine. This communicates authenticity and credibility. So Tom will know he’s being honest and not posturing. Although this is an excellent persuasion technique, I don’t see Kendall using it as a Dominant. Not in a million years. Out of character. But a great technique itself;
  • Also, he flatters Tom. You’ve come a long way, etc. Remember that flattery works even when the other side knows they’re doing it. On top of it, he pairs it with empathy. I know how you’re feeling. And he makes a visualization. “Soon you’ll also have immunity”. This is beautiful. A mixture of flattery, empathy and implementation intention. Bravo, Kendall. Beautiful 3-stack;

00:42:00

The Roys discuss Connor as a candidate

  • A great point they make is that Connor has no track record. This is both positive and negative. On one hand, nothing to attack him with. On the other hand, he has no positive reputation beforehand. It can work as both a quality and a flaw. I personally think it’s a flaw, because even if you have a bad reputation, you can turn it around. But if you have no reputation, no one knows you. As they say, there is no bad publicity;
  • I love when Logan is calling the candidate and asking him to stop by. I love how he uses pressure and the silence. The person says, “It’s pretty late”. Logan says nothing. And he caves and says, “Oh, OK, fine, I’ll come”. This is literally how bullies and intimidators use persuasion. You hold the tension and wait for the other side to break it. Beautiful execution;
    • I also love how he tells him to bring him a drink, which seems to be a form of subjugation. Making him bend. Even though he doesn’t agree, the intention is there;
    • So we have 3 major persuasion weapons here at play. Another advanced stack;
      • First, the home advantage. Making him come to him, not the other way around, not even neutral terrain;
      • Then, escalation of commitment. The foot in the door technique. First he makes him comply to come to him. Then he makes him comply to bringing a drink. Next he will ask more and more favors. The more you comply, the more primed you are to keep complying;
      • And finally, using intimidation and pressure. Holding the tension and letting the other side cave first;
  • Also, I love how Greg says to not make Connor president in a shy manner. This actually has a very big effect. That is, if someone keeps stating things and giving their opinion, it’s not that special. But if someone usually stays shut, then when they decide to finally speak, it has a much bigger effect. So Greg speaking out here against Connor has a very big effect in terms of persuasion;

00:51:30

Mencken greeting the Roys

  • OK, so right off the bat, two things I love about his short conversation with the family;
    • First, see how he suddenly comes alive when he enters the room. True showmanship. It’s a sort of activation when he starts his pitch. A personality change. This is masterful;
    • Then, the Coke. He heard Logan wanted one from the other guy, and he brought it. But more than that, he didn’t do it in a needy way, but in a Dominant way. Almost like indifferent. “Hey, I got this for you”. Being both assertive but showing respect. This is EXACTLY the right way to please Logan;
  • Also, when Logan goes against Shiv. She states she has more experience, but he doesn’t care. Typical Dominant. He doesn’t care about reality, he thinks he can bend reality, and he thinks he can succeed regardless of what happens. This denial of reality is very realistic;

00:54:00

Shiv refusing to be in the photo

  • This is an example of an association. A lack of one, in this case. Shiv does not want to be associated with Mencken due to what he represents, and due to the consequences that can ramify from this. Remember, you’re seen with someone in the photo, and if they turn out be a Nazi, or an assaulter, or rapist, or other extreme things, then you are in the line of fire as well. Very simple;
  • I also love how Shiv finally goes back to being the objective negotiator. Logan tries to force her, and she accepts, but on her own terms, not being next to Mencken. Very wise;

Episode 07: Too Much Birthday

00:05:00

Executives celebration the small punishment

  • This actually makes a lot of sense. If the company shows it is making amends, and it’s an isolated problem, and there is no systemic problem, it’s very likely the punishment is smaller;

00:09:50

Logan blowing up due to Matsson not appearing

  • Logan is insulted that Matsson did not show up in person to the meeting. This is exactly the type of reaction from a Dominant like Logan, and threatening to blow it all up due to a small disrespectful action is exactly the type of thing he does. Nothing new here;

00:18:30

Kendall posters humilating his siblings

  • First, Kendall’s humor is in poor taste, and humiliating his siblings is exactly what I would expect in terms of humor;
  • In specific, you can see how weak Connor’s reaction is. He’s very defensive, and it shows he has thin skin. Sure, this can be a legitimate problem if he’s a politician,

00:21:40

Kendall’s postcard offer from Logan

  • He is exactly right. It’s a mind game, it’s a psyop. He’s trying to screw with his mind;
  • Being an extreme Dominant, I do not see Logan giving Kendall a reasonable valuation for his shares anytime soon. He would rather humiliate and destroy him;
  • I would even go further and say that his goal is not just to screw with Kendall, but to get him to accept the offer and come to him, so that he can humiliate him further and tell him “no” in his face. He’s trying to make him put in the effort and hope for something to then destroy that hope. Yes, pretty brutal, but standard Logan;

00:27:10

Kendall with Matsson

  • It’s clear that Kendall is trying to blow up Logan’s deal, and again, he doesn’t care about the consequences this would have for him. He just wants his dad to suffer;

00:32:10

Kendall telling Greg not to date Comfry

  • OK, so you can see Kendall asserting himself over Greg here, saying, “You can’t date my employee”, as if he had any power over that, but he tries anyway;
  • Also, Greg picked the worst possible time here. First, remember the effect of the home advantage. He’s coming to Kendall in his terrain, and on top of that before he’s about to do his set in front of everyone, so he’s at his most powerful. This is exactly the wrong time to try and negotiate with someone. It would much better to try and catch him the next day, and on top of that on neutral terrain, if possible;

00:38:30

Roman convincing Matsson to meet

  • I love how Roman is building a compliance ladder here. Would you consider meeting with us? Yes. Would you consider selling yes? Would you consider doing it Monday? Yes. He’s building his validation in multiple statements;
  • Would be even better if he asked HOW instead of “yes” or “no” in every stage. But still, this is pretty good. You get people to agree to premises of your argument and they will inevitably agree to the conclusion;

00:43:00

Greg asking Comfry out

  • I love how Greg here is just being honest with Comfry, but this actually works as reverse psychology. By saying, “I’m not allowed to ask to date you”, he’s making this seem like something forbidden, which in turn becomes a lot more attractive;
  • I don’t think he did it on purpose, but it’s still a great persuasion technique. Reverse psychology at its best;

Episode 08: Chiantishire

00:02:30

The Roys ambushing Stewy’s team with the GoJo deal

  • As Stewy says here very eloquently, if you ambush someone, it doesn’t stop being an ambush just because you say it isn’t;
  • What they did was very smart – they made the negotiation advanced enough to not let anyone else block it, while not finalising so they could claim the others were involved. This is very manipulative, and also very effective;
  • In specific, this is using progress and loss as persuasion techniques. That is, by making it seem like things are already in progression, it’s harder to stop. It seems easier to continue than to kill and start from scratch. And by that same token, illustrating what you lose if you stop this actively also creates a similar effect. exactly what Logan says. He suggests them to stop it if they don’t like it, when they know very well they’re destroying all progress made

00:19:00

Reactions to Matsson’s tweet

  • I love how everyone is paranoid about this. And it’s understandable. That is, given that Matsson has been reluctant, and he has asked crazy questions such as about Logan’s death, this can signal something in terms of the deal, or it may not signal anything at all;

00:30:00

Logan arriving to meet Kendall

  • This conversation is very interesting. Notice their Dominant communication style. Very logical and to the point;
  • Specifically Logan’s line. “Life is a number on a piece of paper. It’s a fight for a knife in the mud”. Really reflects their philosophy. Everything must be a fight, and it must be won;
  • I love how Logan literally admits that the offer before was just for fun, and how he refuses it now. It’s 90% of what I predicted would happen. I thought he would also humiliate Kendall and make him look try-hard for coming to him. He did everything except that 90%;
  • But oh, then he does humiliate him, saying maybe he wants him to close to use as a mail boy, or similar;
  • I love how Kendall admits he lost and he still insults Logan while doing it. He’s saying, “You won… because you’re corrupt”. This is delicious;
  • I really like here how they are being brutally honest, because that’s how their personality is. There is usually a spectrum between polite and honest, and these guys are on the honesty extreme. Notice Kendall accusing him of monetising racism and drama for the news, and Logan accusing him of knowing of it a long time before. Both brutally honest, tolerating no delusions;
  • I also love how brutal the conversation becomes. Kendall claims he is better than Logan, and then Logan literally tells him about the person he killed. And then the conversation turns sour, as anyone would predict it would. No surprises here;

00:47:30

The team meeting Matsson

  • So Matsson here seems to be consolidating his status as a poser. Major one. First he states he’s bored with success and execution, but failure interests him. Both are sides of the same thing. It’s almost like an ode to the lean startup kind of methodology, but it’s pretty empty;
  • Also, he claims he can easily read people. By his attitude, doesn’t seem like it. Seems just like he’s just flattering himself. But who knows, I haven’t seen enough of him. But from what I’ve seen, he seems like a crazy guy with a lot of entitlement;
  • I like how Roman tries to be honest with him and ask him whether he’s trying to blow this up or not. But I would not trust him;
  • If I had to hazard a guess, to be honest, he seems like a Dominant as well, but with different traits. Like a new generation one, Silicon Valley founder type. But same substance. Dominate everything, demand as much as you can from others, judge them, insult them if need be, get what you want and get out. And do it as fast as possible. Same personality type as Logan or Kendall, but very different execution. But the general traits are there;
  • Or there is also the possibility he is pretending to be a Dominant, emulating those behaviors, and can just be obfuscating. Advanced negotiators do this. I will do it if I sense someone hostile. You can fake a personality type if you suspect the other side is trying to read you, to then confuse them and gain the upper hand. I honestly can’t get a read. I think probably new-generation Dominant, but not entirely sure;

00:51:00

The Roys on Matsson

  • Logan claiming that he can deal with someone objective, but not with a clown, someone unpredictable. True;
  • Roman claiming that he can read people. No he can’t. LOL. Roman is definitely a Passionate in terms of influence archetypes. He loves the vision, partying, celebrating, and he sees that side of everyone else. It’s very possible he is seeing that side of Matsson and his vision for the company, and this is biasing him;

00:58:00

Shiv trying to get Gerri to turn on Roman

  • I love how Gerri is holding her own here. Shiv is clearly manipulating her to get Roman out of the way, and Gerri gives her nothing;
  • Notice her replies. I can’t recall. I need to check. I’ll think about it. This is a beautiful example of perfect persuasion defense. She gives her nothing. Shiv is trying her best, using empathy, appealing to her, and she blocks everything. Absolutely flawless execution;

Episode 09: All the Bells Say

00:00:30

Logan changing his grandson’s book

  • I love how Logan is being Dominant even with his grandson. Telling him that story is too young for him and asking his mistress for a book with some action to impose on the kid. Again, all about winning;

00:05:10

Gerri on GoJo’s strategy

  • What Gerri is saying makes complete sense. If the companies are contemplating a merger of equals, naturally by merging there will be executives of both sides on the board. If one of them is weaker, and there is the option of buying it, instead of a merger of equals, you retain full control. And if GoJo senses weakness on Waystar’s side, they would absolutely go for a purchase;

00:09:50

Logan and Matsson negotiating

  • I love how they are both getting to the point. Logan asking, “Are we going to do this or not?”, and Matsson saying, “We’re growing, and you guys are sinking”. Very straight, to the point. I definitely think both of them are hardcore Dominants;
  • I love how Matsson is a little bit more sophisticated. He knows how to compliment Logan and make him feel respected, his ego massaged. Even when he suggests taking over the company, he still says it’s not to make him feel small, he will make it nice for him. Pretty sophisticated;
  • I almost see him as a mixture of Passionate and Dominant. Always fast, but sometimes logical, sometimes emotional. Literally my combination, but I’m mostly Passionate with some Dominant, and he seems to be mostly Dominant with a bit of Passionate

00:33:50

Roman telling Shiv about the purchase idea

  • So, after several hints that there is something afoot, with M&A advisers in the city, and all that, Roman finally tells Shiv that Matsson floated the idea of buying them;
  • To be honest, considering Waystar’s financial troubles, I am surprised that most people did not have this in mind from day one. It’s an imperfect situation for them, but to be honest, with their legal troubles, what could they do? They could wait, but someone else could grab GoJo. Or be grabbed by them, I guess. They could also ignore this deal and find another company in the space with similar growth, but small enough to be bought by Waystar and not buy Waystar. But hey, there wouldn’t be drama if that happened, right?
  • Also, it’s interesting that the kids are being excluded from this. in complex negotiations with multiple people, only the important people are involved. And if Matsson is meeting with Logan and the top executives like Frank and Gerri, but the not the siblings, it’s clear what their status is in the matter;

00:37:30

Kendall melting down

  • This Kendall meltdown is disturbingly realistic. So what happens is that, for a Dominant person, all they care about is winning and intimidating. This is their only motivation in life. If they lose that, they lose everything;
  • So notice here how screwed up his situation is. Kendall is not sad due to having killed the waiter. No, he survived two seasons after that with no issue. He is screwed up because he feels like he’s not winning in terms of his kids and his professional career. Not winning is what broke him down;
  • This is also a great example of emotional manipulation. As sorry as you may be feeling for Kendall right now, he’s melting down for all the wrong reasons;

00:51:00

Tom calling in favors with Greg

  • Here Tom is calling in all of his favors to Greg in the past and trying to obtain his support;
  • Although this is smart – I mean, he accepted piling Greg’s crimes on top of his in case he went to jail, so he can pretty much ask for anything in my view – I think the wiser move would be to play to Greg’s safety. Greg is the type of person who has been worried about his safety more than anything throughout the series, so Tom could play precisely to that;
  • He does appeal to his greed, saying he can be near the top and have his own Gregs later on, but I would appeal to his safety first;

00:54:00

Logan against his kids

  • I love the subtle shift in power dynamic here. You can see Logan trying to exclude Kendall, and Roman doesn’t do it. You can see how they finally moved to not believe him;
  • Also, notice how Logan, again, did what he cared about, and screwed over his children. First he claimed it was for all of them, and then he claimed it was for himself and it was an education for the kids;
  • I love how this is the culmination of all the distrust that Logan has sowed throughout the series;
  • Also, I love how when he sees that he lost the trust of all his kids, instead of trying to get them back, he just turns on them as well, insults them and tells them they’re screwed;
  • Also, when Logan says, “You should have trusted me, because I win”, well, there’s a small problem here. The statement is half true. That is, Logan does frequently win, but they should not have trusted him because of it. Logan only cares about himself, and he does win, sure, but only for himself;
  • I find it poetic justice how the ending of this season is a negotiation and persuasion climax, in a way. It’s the culmination of all the distrust and all the aggression that Logan got away with, put together in one final move, in this case against his children;

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