Chris Voss Interviews Derek Gaunt the author of the leadership book "Ego Authority Failure".

hey guys this is my interview of Derek gaunt Derek is a member of the Black Swan group one of our instructors and was one of the most important hostage negotiators in the entire Washington DC metro area and a great leader deck has written a fantastic book called Eagle authority failure and we talk about it in this interview listen to the center of you you're gonna get a lot out of it a lot of fantastic leadership insight tips and advice the great Derek got a great guy a great negotiation instructor and a great leader please enjoy the interview I'm Chris Voss the author of never split the difference and we are talking today two dead gone who someone that I'm not sure there are there aren't that many people I have more respectful derek is a guy that I've been blessed to be friends with since about 2001 2002 he's part of the Black Swan group and he is the author of Eagle authority failure leadership book on the principles of hostage negotiation and tactical empathy derek was the commander of the Alexandria Police Department hostage negotiation team and the Alexander County hostage negotiation team and the Girl Scouts of America hostage negotiation team and I have said in the past and it's absolutely true at when Derek was running his teams in that in DC he was the most important and most influential negotiator in the nation's capital so I pleasure to have you on today brother officially as a guest of my show I appreciate the invite happy to be here and you're too kind in your introductions I appreciate that yeah well when I'm talking to you know never know for me when you're gonna get sincerity you're gonna get ambushed right yeah yeah yeah yeah it's uh sometimes you're hit in the face with a feather sometimes you hit in the face with the brick but you know you're gonna get hit in the face with chrismole Austin yes indeed all right look man I go Authority failure what's that about what what's behind that talk to me yes the impetus for writing in the book was there there's a plethora of information out there now about the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership you know the concept was first introduced in the 1990s and in the intervening 20 odd years we're still talking about it we're still talking about how what's that are you outdoor waited back back in the 1990s yeah he was in a vent at the same time he was inventing the Internet this concept of emotional intelligence was brought into public discussion by Daniel Goleman by a book of the same name right right and and in that time there's been a bunch of books that have been written regarding emotional intelligence and its importance in leadership and yet it's still a problem people still haven't made it a standard way so what do you think the problem because I would say sometimes a problem like you know I've read a book on sales before and what outline and prons I didn't talk to anybody about how to fix it yeah yeah they they gave you these generic boilerplate suggestions being nicer be nice nurture yeah don't be a jerk create a positive environment talk better to your employees well right exactly execution is a problem that's part of the problem and the other part of the problem is ego and authority gets in the way of anybody learning any new skill and you and I have been doing business together when I say doing business I mean teaching hostage negotiation practices and principles to the business world for you know the better part of almost 10 years now right and it took me almost that long to realize that hostage negotiation business negotiation it's just a difficult conversation and it took me 10 years to figure out that leaders are involved in difficult conversations every single day so lightbulb goes off not take what we used in hostage negotiations to manage those difficult conversations and provide them to business leaders managers bosses to improve their communication skills between them and their peers and them in their downline errs and that's so let me ask you a question oh because you're interesting you're also making me wonder about if like if it's a hostage negotiation it's a difficult conversation what we often don't see in a hostage takers that they're really scared they're actually just scared they're insecure and we can't come at them directly so yeah your followers employees people that are giving us a hard time they're probably actually really scared you think I think fear has a lot to do with it but I think along with that fear is the failure to deliberately recognize the impact that the boss's words is going to have or boss's words are gonna have on the employee and how they're going to respond to it all right so let's break it down a little bit all right so bosses failure to recognize impact ego problems because you kind of Eagle Authority failure so egos a big problem boss Ziggler's getting away what do you mean by that so I proposed opined if you will in the book that ego is an emotion just as strong as as fear just as strong as anger just as strong as frustration because it's inextricably linked to our self-image and when we are trying to protect our self-image we'll go through to great lengths and and that's that's the that's the clouding of the judgment that ego provides and and Authority supports and feeds ego they are the mother and father of toxic leadership if they're not held in check if they're not recognized from what they our mother and for Eagle Eagle an authority mother and father toxic leadership yeah right interesting all right so when people when people feel you those two or threatened then you know wicked stepmom what could stepdad comes out and makes everything right yeah yeah and and it's it don't I don't want anybody I don't want you I want anybody else that reads the book to think that I am saying that Eagle authority or 100% evil because they are not there are appropriate times when your eagle and authority have to come in this could come into play as a leader you know as George retired Colonel George Reid said to me as I was researching the book he said when they eminent and when the enemy is inside the wire and you're passing out the last rounds of ammunition your ego and authority better be there they better be on point because you're cut your communication has to be more assertive and more direct but the problem is most of the time the leaders that we're talking about or not in a situation where the enemies inside the wire they're always like the enemies inside the wire and then that not getting ready for that moment right exactly exactly I see you interviewed a whole bunch of interesting people for this book this is his and they're gone on my life as a hostage negotiation leader I mean you did a bunch of interviews for this yeah I did I did quite a few I did quite a few I wanted to I wanted to involve people from a variety of environments to show that it's not germane just to the military or to law enforcement but the type of toxic toxic leaders that I was talking to or talking about in the book come from a variety of spaces I was talking to rideshare executives I was talking to Olympic athletes I was talking to Colonels and lieutenant Colonel's in the military I was talking to basketball coaches I talked to a variety of people to get their taken and every one of them described the same type of leader so regardless of this base these people exist and as long as they exist you know guys me will keep writing books so whose get the market cornered on toxic leadership who's got the market cornered I think you're more action oriented organizations uh they're more likely to be more ego and authority or you yeah yeah yeah because they being action ordered or do they always think time is of the essence and they're always rushing to resolve an issue and move on to the next issue and by the virtue of how quickly they solve problems that is what's evaluated before they get elevated to the next level and it becomes a cycle and they've met with success so running roughshod over people doesn't really bother them because it what's gets if it's what gets them to the next level but collection its law enforcement the military firefighters yeah that's where you're going to find most of them but that's not to say that the corporate world doesn't have their share cuz they they do right right and you talk to people from the corporate world you talk to wide variety of genders well how wide is a variety genders but why drag ethnicities right you know but then but then maybe three genders max yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah I've talked to uh I talked to one young lady that length in Malaysia and intuitively she's just a smart person who understands that what's your name young lady I worked with or interviewed extensively in Malaysia is Shari Simpson she's referred to in the book is Shari Simpson and Shari was interesting because she got she intuitively she understood what it meant to to to view the world from her downline and hers perspective and to protect them and insulate them from everything that was going on above her and and she she encapsulated what it meant to be a hostage negotiator leader she she knew how to execute hostage negotiator leadership which is a a the phrase that I coined in the book for this new style of leadership and she never had to become peer leadership hostage HML baby hostage negotiator leader very cool but sherry was not a hostage negotiator was she no she's been she's been in the in the marketing side of the tech world for many many years both here in the states and in Malaysia marketing yeah market tech woman Malaysian now what of those elements of her background contributed to her leadership ability do you think is there is there is some of this leadership would it be do you know we're talking about a woman looking out for the team that you know females perspective how much does that integrate into the role I think I think the females that I've talked to for the book and that I've had personal experience which with into it this stuff more so than their male counterparts and because of that they're able to dial it up that then that's that's a that's a phrase that Sheree kept using over and over during are any interviews how can i dial this up when I need it and so she's very cognizant of the fact that she's not on 24 hours a day but she could dial it up when it needs to be dial up that she's and she's quick to recognize when it's appropriate and and when it's going to when it's going to sustain a relationship and so what's she dialing up what exactly she dialing up tactical empathy but then so demonstrated understanding of the other side's fears that's right that's right Wow alright yeah because I mean when we talked about tactical empathy in our business negotiations we talked specifically about a demonstration of understanding of the other side's fears disagreements name-calling accusations name they would call us which is you know their fears and their discomforts it's all kind of fear right though Sheree's dialing up her awareness of her employees her followers fears and articulating that as getting a job done that yeah exactly exactly as a boss she recognizes that she's gonna have to make tough decisions she's gonna have to impart information at her people are not going to receive very well and it's all in how she says she's cognizant enough of what it's how it's going to impact them that she really deliberates before she shares the message I mean this is yeah this is our formula of empathy and assertiveness you got to be assertive but you got to be empathic first right exactly exactly empathy first sorted in this last and and nobody's ever taught her that this is stuff that she just learned how to do by trying and she speaks to it very eloquently in the book by trial and error there are there is no that's what she was lamenting about most was there's there's no there's no training in tactical empathy or interpersonal communications everything is is what are you what are your technicalities what do you bring to the table what is your what are your operational technical skills that you bring to the table and she would actually incorporate empathy discovering questions in her interviews when she was bringing people on board for example for example yeah let's hear the other questions what do you do with your family outside of work how have you managed conflict on the team that you've been on before ah all right so she's looking she's looking for core values she's looking for how they interact with people and problems not success like half half the business questions out there how do you 16 yeah yeah this is really you know what will you do when you fail when it goes bad when when a train wreck starts yeah yeah how do you manage how do you manage to keep it working relationship with someone who has considerable coal or political differences from you all right so the way you're talking about this I mean we're talking about this is it's a woman that's applying it but this is not necessarily a feminine trait but with the example as a woman has picked it up faster yeah yeah for sure so she an outlier is is she is there as you know is this a profile of a great leader yeah I'm not sure exactly what I'm asking but I'm trying to I'm trying to get a fix on pure man should you be scared if you're a woman what should you be scared of I mean how do we how do we apply us where our weaknesses well we have to be aware of well you know I we have to be aware of being so focused on the mission of the organization and our goals and objectives as a leader that we forget the most basic and obvious fact there is and that is we're still dealing with human beings and one of the other women that I interviewed for a remarkable company said that they attentionally changed their name the name of her department from human resources to human relations so they still handle all of the administered the all the administrative stuff that you're normal personnel department or human resources department would handle but just the mere fact that the company was smart enough to change the name to human relations is is huge to me Kimberly can we are we at liberty to say the company that did that we are not at liberty to she was very clear about that it's a large communications company but again it you know they and top down they get it now there are pockets within their organization where they still have issues but they're dialed in on on educating those issues you know they one story that should be related to me was they had to let an executive go because of the environment that he was creating for his people and she says before we undertake any kind of action like that there is a there is a very robust remedial training program if you will that the offending leader has to go through and this particular person went through two years of that he still didn't get it and finally they had to let go and this was a guy that had a lot of institutional knowledge lies in the face a little bit you know you hear a lot of business advice slow to hire quick to fire this is this is a application not being not being quick to fire but quick to take action quick to try to salvage an employee right yeah yeah yeah she went out of her way to try to salvage many employees before they ultimately were asked to move there there are a couple of stories in there where she talks about walking them out of the door and then there there's uh there are other stories in there and where she says if we just do things another way we can save this person's job the data and facts and information doesn't always equal you have to have somebody leave sometimes if you think outside the box and I hate that cliche but if you come up with other options you're able to salvage people that otherwise would have had to been walk out of the door along with a lot of skill so the Box then think outside the box would you find the boxes how have we done it up to now we just got to make sure we don't do it that way yeah well how we've done it yeah that's pretty much how we done it up to now for example she's talked about reduction in force and the reduction of force is pretty cut-and-dry we have to cut this many positions so you you you you you you see where you're gonna take 12 people from this department 12 people from this department until you you get to the number that you need and then you execute well she knew that if we cut a certain number of these positions specifically with the personnel that were on the chopping block a lot of institutional knowledge would have walked out and it would have crippled some of the departments where these people worked she's looking she's looking at that game is that as opposed to just what the aggregate numbers say that this because pretty much it's cut dry you you identify it you select you execute and that's it and that's what the numbers were telling her that's what the numbers were telling the senior executives to do and they said go out and execute but before she executed she went through the numbers and she said that there's another way to do this and because at the end of the day the reduction in force was to do what save some money right yeah and well she's looking much more at net loss and replacement levels exactly exactly and so when she when she did that and she divided by two and carried the 1 and all of that she was able to figure out that if we if we move you know instead of 12 of these positions we move six of the these positions over to another area we could save these twelve people who were on the chopping block and while the executives really hadn't thought of it they weren't opposed to it and they let her execute and they saved the dollars that they were looking to save by letting people go so she was able to salvage quite a few positions that way because she's working for people coming out actually she called it a heart company my company is a heart company what is it it's a heart company it's a family-owned business and they filter their thinking process through their heart all right so I add filter to their heart I mean they didn't see employees as employees as long as people whose lives that they felt accountable for responsible for because they took them on exactly exactly the the founder of the company one of his last wishes was that we that they can remain a heart company and they take care of each and every employer that's the goal of the company take care of each and every employee not to grow the company by a thousand percent not to increase their market share but to take care of their people and that's been the mantra the entire time their existence and that's why they're still as robust as they are is that an articulated core value on their part do you know I don't I don't I got the feeling that it was but I you know I was remiss and so I never really asked that question of her but based on the way she conducts herself some based on some of the things that the the family founding family introduced I would say that it's probably a safe bet because let's see how long how long company been in existence over a hundred years Wow yeah very impressive yeah I found a way to live their values one way or the other didn't they yeah with a family-owned company you can do things like that you can do things that the other public aid companies can't or won't all right so leap leadership advice you want to be a good leader you're in a bad environment what do you do you want to be a good leader stop thinking it's about you it's not about your aspirations it's not about your goal and objective it's about you subordinating yourself to the to two year down liners and to your peers it's about you interacting with your employees with the same level of deference and thoughtfulness that we used to do with kidnappers and hostage takers that's the bottom line so you really you worry about how they're gonna react I mean you kind of get out of your own way right yeah you you get out of your own way and you understand that when you go to that person you tell them that the chief is pulling all take-home cars from all detectives so you no longer have a company vehicle and you and this this purse several of these people have had these company you vehicles for 10 years it's 10 years they have been paying for gas while they're coming to and from work and now it's being pulled from them that kind of message needs to be the hug fully considered before it being relate and so when you're gonna relay that message you're gonna think what are those negative opinions and assumptions and impressions that those employees are gonna have about me when I come in here to drop this bomb on yeah so in it it ain't you know I'm going through the same thing you know I remember one time when I was with the bureau just for left one of the reasons why I think it was a big a tie when I did they started cutting travel budget so we were the only time an FBI agent at the time could fly business class is if you had to be someplace you know travel restrictions you got to fly for over eight hours or something then they make your government rules or you got to stop off and spend the night get a good night's sleep before you keep going and but if you're working a kidnapping and it's a 20-hour flight they fly your business class so that you could get there faster and sleep on the plane and arrive fresh and I can remember to save money they took that away and when one of the business you know one of the upper level executives at the bureau was explaining to me and he was saying like look even we don't get a fly business class anymore and he thought that was it okay for me yeah yeah and so and I understand what he said what he said to you because he didn't know any other way to soften that blow and so he figures that if you looked at him as somebody with common ground common ground yeah it might be an easier pill to swallow common ground I share your pain I'm feeling it a little bit to that knots and yeah nobody cares yeah I mean there's a there I don't know if you ever heard this joke is just really bad serial killer joke I mean it is a bad joke and it's harsh but you know unfortunately it's a it's a great example you know serial killer dragging a little kid off into the woods and it's dark and scary and and the little kid says oh my god I'm scared and the serial killer says yeah what about me I gotta walk back alone that's a classic example you know what about me I gotta go through it too it's not as bad as you but you know it's just it's just really bad yeah yeah it's it's and again that goes back to my earlier statement of it's not about you you want to be better as the leader understand that it's not about you understand that you you're in a unique position because yeah you you make more money you make more decisions and the people you were alone the boom on I mean one way or another you're in a better position there and there's no way that that it's affecting you as as much as it's affecting them plus they're looking for you to guidance you in a power position or all these problems there yeah this whole common ground shared feeling stuff is just nonsense yeah and and and the common ground is it comes off as disingenuous when you've got that add that dynamic at play where you got a superior subordinate relationship and and you hit the nail right on the head you can't you can't tell me that this is affecting me the same way it's affecting you you you make twenty grand more than I do so don't try to say that you and I are in the same boat and that comes off as disingenuous it comes off as transparent faulty and there's a certain lack of sincerity there and all of those go to damage damaging trust and it's not going to be this one instance of you passing bad a bad message in a bad way to your employees but it's it's like the application of our skills in Reverse the cumulative effect of your bad communication with your employees is ultimately going to have you fail that's it and it is cumulative right I mean people keeps torn up no matter how much people try to forget you know it's it accumulates it's uh like any other bad habit right you get fat or you get you you get bad nutrition whatever it might be right yeah and and or even a better analogy is is the the battered pet at some point the pets gonna get tired of you hitting on him and he's gonna turn around he's gonna Bears teeth well that's tantamount to what happens in the superior subordinate relationship you know I've cited one study in the book the top three factors that people left bosses and that's what they're doing they're not leaving jobs they're leavin bosses or as their management style condescending attitude and a mean or bad temper people don't leave jobs they leave bosses that's right if there's an employee turnover it's the boss's fault that ain't the jobs fault and as the gesture as the labor force gets younger and younger that's gonna become more and more the case these kids today and when I say kids I mean anybody younger than me they're not sticking around anymore for that abusive behavior they're not they're just you know they're they're they're packing up and they're going to work for someone else so there's hope for the world I mean that's a good thing right because that's gonna make it a Darwinian process and the companies that can't retain people they deserve to go down the tubes you would think you know hopefully ego with authority failure will stave that off but the the fear that I have is the people that need the most will read at least all right so let's say it's let's say you want to do better for yourself right now your concern you've been doing bad you know I'm what do you what are you telling me what do you need me to do what how do I become more aware of this how do I get better right now I mean how do I start to reverse this and get you know instead of a downward spiral get a you know an upward and upward spiral so first start off with your tone everybody that you talk to who is the subordinate knows the dynamic they know you're the boss you don't need to let it reflect in your tone I don't own your using right now what would trauma the tone I'm using right now the late night FM DJ voice right because in and they're gonna be they're gonna be times when you're gonna switch it be switching in between tones right yeah when you're talking about the sequencing of delivering your message right so when you are beginning to speak with them you're gonna like you're doing you've got that half smile on your face you're gonna come across and put them in a more positive frame of mind take away those negative emotions that they may have because I can guarantee you if you're a boss Chris and you send out a calendar invite that we've got a meeting tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock all of us who work for you are gonna be like okay what's he gonna bitch about right nothing's up because this is a meaning that he's scheduling with the 24 hours he never does this there's something going on bran it's a Sunday and he wants to have this meeting and it's All Hands meeting there's something there's something going on so automatically I'm gonna be amped up for this meeting I'm gonna be wonderful what does that do what is it that I didn't do right and I guarantee you everybody else that works for you is thinking the same thing right and and so we're gonna be coming it into this meeting with a certain level of anxiety anxiety because it's there's uncertainty there even when the situation is uncertain people are uncomfortable and when we're uncomfortable one thing we want to do is to get comfortable again as soon as possible so my job is boss try to get comfortable so they could chill out a little try exactly because you've got a message that you want to send and you want them cognitively nimble enough to hear that message and there's the issue for leaders right because if you're in creating increasing our anxiety they've lost their ability to be cognitively nimble yeah yeah they've lost their ability to focus the gloss their ability to process and as a result the the negatives that they view you through are going to be calling their miss their ability to think about and absorb what you're saying ah right right so you need them thinking right it's important you gotta have them think so what do i do what do I do besides tone of voice I send out this message how do i how do i keep them from tossing and turning all night waiting for the meeting the next day how do you keep possible turn wait for the meeting the next day yeah so you just don't send a message out at all or what maybe don't send the message well the message should be sent out with probably in accusations on it in the message the accusations are where you're labeling that negative beforehand you know I know this is gonna sound horrible I know this is gonna catch you guys off-guard you're gonna make you a little anxious there's a meeting scheduled tomorrow it's 3 p.m. on zoom' and here's the dial and instructions and sleep it at that simple yeah yeah very very you know what I will tell you one of the things that I was really encouraged about your description of accusations are at that particular tool because you know we were jointly coaching some negotiators the other day and I was really blown away when one of the guys said they really got the concept of accusations audits from what was written in your book not mine what was written in yours and I was blown away by that so and he was talking about it in reference to the story with the SWAT guys right when you get some funding out of the SWAT guys yeah yeah yeah all right so and approximately where is that in the book cuz people you got to get the book you got to get ego Authority and failure if you don't see yourself as a leader if you just see yourself as a negotiator a lot of the people that were teaching negotiation to pick up Derek's book because it adds to the the depth of their thinking about negotiation and human interaction overall so yeah I just want to emphasize this whatever whatever you're if you're studying people at all I think you need authority and failure on your bookshelf if your reader and a lot of people out there that are not readers maybe you just listen to this podcast but you need a little bit of this interview maybe just listen to this interview you need a little more depth you got to read some you got to read you got to pick up the book reading reading is absolutely essential an ego Authority and failure is something you got to read you just got to read it and I apologize for the interruption on your story that no I liked the endorsement yeah your endorsement is better than any of my stories so the the the the SWOT story appears in the latter part of the book I want to say it's somewhere around 1099 and the story is in 2016 don't go out Gore on me here again right back of 2016 back in 1816 you know the only ice caps were supposed to melt in 2014 did you know that they did hey nobody just told us ah gotcha well al did so I got information from one of your old colleagues I don't know not a colleague he worked in the bureau at the same time you did he had gone overseas to attend a two-week negotiator school in Spain and is there this part of the SWAT story is this how you became how you grew up in Virginia no it's just part of the SWAT story how I grew up in Virginia comes next all right background is if I don't understand background is important but when why I keep saying Al Gore's he's being interviewed by Jaden Smith at a conference I met recently and Jane Smith asked him something about how kids are on the Millennials on the Internet today and Al Gore said well when the printing press was first invented and he was serious he started was when the printing press was invented to answer Jane Smith question so that's you know and plus I'm giving you a hard time which I promise yeah you did and thank you for quoting me to a man who cannot string two sentences together without something like an oath a lot of gore fans out there you're not talking about Jane Smith I know you're talking about Al Gore all right so anyway he he's sitting next to a negotiated for the rate Frances equivalent of AA new HIV research something something and research assistant and intelligence and diversion okay right sounds very French yeah so he says great lady love to get her to the states to share with you a with the US mission negotiator to the United States to speak the hottest his negotiators right and you need to go to the SWAT guys to get the money because you don't have the budget well you're speeding us along the track are you on the timeline now no man I don't wish brilliance so I say to this guy who's a year old guy that sounds like a great eye how are you gonna do it and then goes well well yeah you know a guy who needs help all right I get it go ahead yeah yeah the story of my life as a matter of fact I've been carrying your water for years man I tell you what your back is hurt from carrying me all right so to make a long story longer I tell you know I asked him how he's gonna do it he goes if we go through the bureau's it's gonna be way too much red tape you should try to do it on the local level and I was like great thank you so I I talked to a guy I've at the Council of Governments he says I know that the SWAT subcommittee is sitting on 80k of money training money that they haven't spent in a dime of in three years there or they're sitting on yeah so so not only have they not not only do they have a lot of money they haven't touched it so he says to me I'm sure if you called the chairman of the SWAT committee you could probably convince him into give me the cash I said okay so I call him he goes yeah I guess sounds like a great idea I can't make that decision unilaterally you're gonna kept coming dressed the address the group oh yeah and you got to bring raw steaks with you when you go address a bunch of SWAT leaders right then you better bring enough up because the one true cats don't get fed or coming after you so I prepared for the meeting by thinking about what negatives were going to be present in their minds when I asked them for this money what and that's negatives about the circumstances and negatives about me personally and as a negotiator and again I'm sorry for the interruption but this is what a lot of people miss and acts I'm not sorry for the interruption maybe this time I am but what a lot of people miss or when we talk about accusations it's not your accusations against them it's theirs against you right the the negative opinions assumption impressions that they're harboring that they haven't spoken yet the things that they are thinking about you or the circumstances that if they were in the Town Square standing on the steps of City Hall and yelling right he's invective towards you what would you want to refute or do not right right right and as you can imagine there were several critical ones that were readily apparent because of the dynamics of me asking for the money and who I was asking for the money you know the relationship between SWAT operators and negotiators has always been a friend it's gotten better over the years but you know you ask a a SWAT operator what his opinion of the negotiator is and he's gonna say things like you know kumbaya crowd all I want to do is talk about feelings mouth you know and then on the flip side of that you ask a negotiator what their impression of about a SWAT operator is and they'll say you know you know fell crow wearing dip chewing knuckle dragging door kicking thugs go all the wanted all they wanted to do is shoot people and blow things up right so that we've always had that that tenuous relationship but nonetheless we're professionals and we're able to get to the job done so I go in and I start well first of all when I hit the door as I'm walking towards the room it's a conference room in the government building and as I'm walking towards the door I can hear I mean it's a group it's like 15 SWAT guy so the din in the room is loud because its meaning hasn't begun yet and so everybody is laughing and joking have a good time and as I hit the door it was like it was like Eddie Murphy in 48 hours going into that country bar yo butch rednecks in here yeah oh all the talking stopped all ice scourge me at the door and this talking starts to begin again very slowly where it starts as a whisper they're leaning and whispering to each other they're looking at me smirking arms folded you know I felt very welcome [Laughter] and so old business new business I'm on the agenda I get up and I lay out these accusations audits I got hit with a couple of questions obviously yeah I know you guys don't hold negotiator in the greatest of esteem I know that you think that I'm probably an interloper you're probably questioning the audacity of me coming in here and asking for something that I had nothing to do with generating you think this is you think I'm being greedy you think this is just a money grab you're thinking that probably you're gonna set a precedent that's dangerous yeah especially that one and I just I just let it sit yeah then you shut up you don't start look but you don't hit the buck right you gotta yeah yeah you don't want to you know you never you never want to justify you just want to throw it out there and let them know that you get it right but instead of saying I get it you shown that you get it I'll exactly exactly exactly and I got some pushback you know one of the guys stood up and said that you know we normally train to shoot things and blow things up that's what we spend our training dollars on we don't and this is how he put it it was dripping with sarcasm we don't pay people or we don't use our training money to pay people for people's way to come here to talk like talk is a dirty word yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah I guess I love a I love cased that is just like everybody else loves case studies but we don't spend our money to people to come here to talk let me do it on sniper training explosives training and so in any event as I march down you know I heard them out and you know the real motivation behind the expected they were giving was what I mentioned earlier in the accusations on it and and one of the guys was worried about setting the precedent of giving us money and then the canine subcommittee hearing him about it then the canine committee subcommittee coming to them asking for money is gonna fall apart you know yeah now see what they get what they didn't know at the time was that my plan B was to go to the Chiefs of Police subcommittee you got a plan B I mean this this your strategy isn't that dependent on part of having a plan B it still the sound strategy in and of itself it was a sound strategy because it was important for me to maintain the relationship for the SWAT guys I don't want to alienate those guys even more important right the first way to make sure you maintain a relationship yeah I could have I could have forgone that that that plan a and gone directly to Pam plan be it and crush those guys but what would that have gotten me in the long run and a long runner what a hurt you yeah because SWAT guys gave you the money right I think it for those time and I leave the room and a couple of days later he calls me up and says it was unanimous vote you got the money why you know any vote would have would have would have not have occurred if I had not gone in and addressed those negatives at the beginning of our meeting the way I had it just wouldn't have happened it would not have happened right right right and plus long-term success we're talking about long-term success long-term relationships right because at some point I'm going to need those guys in that room and they're gonna remember what happened last time that's exactly right cumulative you talked about that or it's just cumulus this is realizing what's cumulant exactly leadership was it yeah you tell me take me out of the circumstances of asking for money and understand that what I was sharing with a group of people ie your team whoever you work for you in your whoever works for you within your organization are the SWAT guys I'm the boss I'm imparting bad news on those SWAT guys news that they're not likely gonna want to hear it's no different than any other difficult discussion or relaying of bad news that leaders do every single day and in the case with me and the SWAT guys it was worth 10 grand to get this negotiator from France to the US that's what the bad guys this is you talked about this earlier the bad guys are not inside the wire here right it's not circumstances where you need a thority to lead as a matter of fact so swaggin a number here 90% of the time you better not be relying on authority to lead because the bad guys aren't really inside the wire and you need to treat people as if there's a SWAT team and it's their option as to whether or not they comply right yes that's exactly right and and I'm glad you brought that brought that up because there are many leaders out there that look at everything they do with a sense of urgency and in reality the majority of the decisions that we make do not have to be rushed right right we can take long time and we can be deliberate and we can be more discerning and and and dare I say compassionate with our employees 90% at a time 10% of the time yeah you're gonna have to make some pretty quick problem-solving decisions but that's not where we reside most of the time so we get more done by being compassionate yeah he goes back to what we talked about earlier if you're compassionate you're putting those people in the positive frame of mind and put them in a power of the frame of mind you create that environment that they want to work motivation increases morale increases performance increases everybody's happier so if you're a mercenary if you're sociopaths you want to be more compassionate because you get more well that's what they do right deliberately well a shoulder right yeah the bottom line works request not answer all right but I'm gonna cut it off here all right good listen again ego authority failure no matter what aspect of human interaction you're studying whether you're studying negotiation where you study leadership some people are studying followership I mean this is this is emotional intelligence this is another take on emotional intelligence for more productive interactions that if you're reading to get smarter you got to buy this book and if you're not reading to get smarter you are not getting smarter so by ego Authority failure get a lot out of it thanks man thank you [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

6 thoughts on “Chris Voss Interviews Derek Gaunt the author of the leadership book "Ego Authority Failure".

  1. Great Interview and great books 📚! Both books have helped me a lot in my life. “Never split the difference” is more easy writen and more fun reading. At Dereks Gaunt book in comparison, you have to bite through. But it’s much more detailed and the objective is on the subject of leadership in organizations. So both books are great.

    One question remains:
    Is there something like an empathy fatigue?

    William Uri in his talk at google “getting a yes with yourself”, talks about getting to the balcony.
    What he means is, taking a walk or do something to distance yourself for a moment from this situation, so you are more content and clear when entering difficult situations.
    Maybe you guys can adress this “going to the balcony” topic as well.

  2. How would you gentlemen have explained to your subordinates they could no longer fly first-class? What could the boss have said to make this sound better, in your opinion?

  3. It seems like al gore believes the Internet will be as big a game-changer as the printing press. It sounds like gore thinks some people are anxious about big changes. It appears that gore compared some people being against internet to some being against the printing press back in the day. It sounds like gore tried to give a thoughtful answer to a though-provoking question. (Please grade me on my tactical empathy and labeling!)

  4. well I've listened to your book "never split the difference" almost 4 times while I'm working at my job at night.

    I sincerely hope derek decides to get something like that going, and I hope he narrates it.

    you black swan boys have a hell of a lot to share with the world and I sure wish you the best in spreading it- and I'll do my best to help

  5. Please include links for the book in the description of the video and is there an audio version available?

  6. Derek is a beast. Scary to hear this man negotiate. Can't wait to read his book.

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