A Martial Arts Black Belt on Overpaying for a Company and Other Negotiating Mistakes: Cash Nickerson

A Martial Arts Black Belt on Overpaying for a Company and Other Negotiating Mistakes: Cash Nickerson


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #108 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Cash Nickerson. He's the chairman of the North American business unit of AKKA Technologies, a negotiation instructor, and a black belt in karate. He's a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and has MBA and JD degrees.

Cash is the author of six books including his latest, a WSJ bestseller: Negotiation as a Martial Art: Techniques to Master the Art of Human Exchange.

In today's episode, Cash shares his “favorite mistake” story about advising a company in a deal where they ended up overpaying for a major acquisition. Why did Cash see this mistake and then repeat it, before eventually learning the lesson?

We talk about that and other topics including:

  • How and when did you take interest in the martial arts?
  • How has that helped you in business and negotiating, more specifically??
  • Why observing your opponent closely is so important in negotiating or in martial arts
  • Things to look out for if you’re concerned about a rash decision, overcommitted?
    • Behaviors: exaggerated terms, defensiveness or excitability argumentative, making distinctions, “strategic,” constant changes in fundamental assumptions,  the use of power, “you don’t get it”

Find Cash on Social Media:

Scroll down to find:

  • Watch the video
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript



"I hate thinking about my mistakes. I'm a very positive person. Let's just keep moving forward."
"If you fear you might be doing something stupid,  it takes some humility to even imagine to say, 'But what if it's a bad mistake?'"
When negotiating or deciding: "You need choices. More choices equals better outcomes."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.