The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments (★★★★★)

dealmaker's ten commandments cohen Well, this was a surprisingly great read. I’ll be honest and say that I only even agreed to read and review this book because I was curious what Chunk was up to these days. Turns out, he’s doing pretty well for himself.

The book is short at just over 100 pages, but it is packed with good advice. Cohen is insightful, smart, straightforward, genuinely humble, and surprisingly funny. There is no doubt that Cohen is focused and determined to be the best at what he does, but he also doesn’t take himself too seriously. Despite the fact that he gives, what many would consider to be, rather harsh advice, he still comes across as pretty darn likable, in my opinion.

The book is divided into, you guessed it, ten sections. Here is a brief overview of each one:

1)   Fear is more powerful than love. It’s also more reliable.

2)   Power, not reason, decides how outcomes are defined, judged, and rationalized.

3)   People are motivated by their own (perceived) best interests.

4)   Things are exactly as they seem. Don’t delude yourself. Don’t make excuses.

5)   Choose the right battle with a worthy opponent.

6)   Make a deal:  offer, counter, and close. Don’t add steps; don’t skip steps.

7)   Have a system for handling your phone calls, emails, meetings, etc. Spend the most time on things that most benefit you.

8)   Don’t panic or make excuses when you screw up. Fix the problem now, analyze later.

9)   Know your role–who you are and who you aren’t. Also, get paid!

10) Try not to become a monster. Even if you get down and dirty on a daily basis, balance it out with good things in your life.

Though I began reading this book out of curiosity more than anything, I ended up really enjoying it. I connected with Cohen’s writing style and outlook on life pretty much immediately. I think there is something just inherently admirable and engaging about a person who has been through hard times and risen above. At any rate, this was a great book. Best of luck to you, Jeff!

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