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business lessons by the blacklist

7 business lessons we learned from The Blacklist

spader red reddington

On the hit NBC show “The Blacklist,” James Spader plays criminal mastermind Raymond “Red” Reddington, who built his career selling secrets and arranging black-market deals. While we hope your own business dealings are a little more above-board, there’s still a lot to learn from Red’s business success. Here are seven of Red’s best (and totally legal) business tips:

Be a storyteller. Red has a gift for storytelling. The detail he brings to his stories keeps you hanging on his every word. He surprises you, makes you think, and makes you feel. These are all things your business should do, too. Having a great story helps your business stand out, spreads your message, and lets customers engage with your product.

Network. Networking builds trust and relationships with others. You are a walking advertisement for your business, and by going out there and building relationships, you are letting people know what they need before they need it. Red wasn’t handed a list of people to do business with; he had to get out there and make a name for himself. So should you.

Don’t overshare. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about your business—just like networking, if you don’t share what your business does, people won’t know they need it. That said, you also don’t want your competitors to know what’s in your secret sauce. After all, Red didn’t evade the FBI for 20 years by telling everyone his whereabouts. He gives away just enough information to build interest in his business without spilling so much that the feds can track him down.

Teamwork. Teamwork is essential to workplace success. A team that actively communicates with one another can help reduce wasted time trying to figure things out on your own. Red knows this, which is why he relies on his FBI team to get him out of a jam.

Negotiate. Red describes negotiation as a dance. “Everything you need to know about negotiation is there in the Tango Milonga. At the outside they are opponents, each has something the other wants. They size one another up, assessing risk, setting boundaries, challenging each other to breach them. A sensuous battle, violence, and sex, balanced on the blade of a knife. Nothing given when it’s not earned, nothing taken when it’s not given. This is the pure essence of negotiation. Not a poker game, but a Milonga. A tango. Seduction.” That pretty much says it all.

Strategy.The unpredictable Red is the master of strategy. There is nothing predictable about him. When you think you know how the situation is going to turn out, he takes it in a whole new direction. Which is why Plan A is great, but you should always have a Plan B, C, and even D. Multiple plans are important because you never know what’s going to happen, and it’s always better to stay above your competitors than fall short.

Always stay calm and collected. This is easier said than done, but it’s paramount to remember just to breathe and think critically. Because Red stays calm even when his life is on the line, he always figures out how to solve his problem. By remaining calm and collected, you’ll always have a more positive outcome than if you just lashed out.

If you want more business tips, take a look at our business legal help articles.

Are you watching The Blacklist tonight? Let us know in the comments below.

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