Michael Friedlander has written an excellent book. He has taken Nelson Mandela's life and values as the model for how to conduct ethical negotiations; Nelson Mandela who led South Africa from apartheid and division into a unified non-racial democracy. Mr. Friedlander contrasts Mr. Mandela's high ethical standards against the dirth of ethics common in contemporary business practices and negotiations.
The book describes the strength, courage and integrity of Nelson Mandela in all of his dealings: with his comrades, his adversaries, his subordinates, and with the community at large. His high ethical standards are revealed in many inspiring examples. The result is deserved, universal admiration for Mr. Mandela. The outcomes of Mr. Mandela's ethical negotiations are real accomplishments for society and humanity.
Mr. Friedlander shows that Mr. Mandela's integrity protected him from scams and sleights of hand in his negotiations with the former apartheid government representatives. His own integrity enabled him to identify dishonesty and attempted manipulation by his opponents. His courage and decency empowered him to resist blandishment and intrigue. He could spot the scam and prevent it misleading him.
The author then cites three notorious examples in recent U.S. history of scams that fooled those whose ostensible standing and reputation in society suggested they would not have fallen prey to dishonest manipulation. They did fall prey, with serious consequences for American society and the world. The three examples are the Enron scandal, Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme, and Ahmed Chalabi's manipulation of the Bush administration. It was Chalabi who, almost single handedly, and in the face of some stiff criticism from the U.S. security establishment, managed to persuade the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, when, in fact, there were none. In all three examples, there were common methods used to mislead and manipulate. In each instance many skillful people were fooled into believing something that was wholly false.
Mr. Friedlander identifies the qualities and practices that Mr. Mandela exemplified. He draws out the lessons to be learned from Mr. Mandela's method of ethical bargaining. He contrasts these lessons with those to be learned from the unethical practices of Ken Lay (the Enron executive), Bernard Madoff and Ahmed Chalabi. He points out how, following Mr. Mandela's adherence to decency and to sustainable, coherent ethical principles, it is possible to resist the powerful manipulation of the masters of duplicity such as those who successfully duped so many who ought to have known better.
The book should be required reading in business and law schools around the world. It is a valuable work for all who negotiate.
Like Mike Friedlander, I am originally from South Africa and lived through the Apartheid Era before emigrating to the USA in the late 1970's. The Soweto riots of 1976, were highly influential in my decision making process to make the move. At the time of leaving, I never dreamed that political events in South Africa would unfold as they ultimately did, leading to the eventual dismantling of Apartheid. This most certainly was due to the genius of one Nelson Mandela. In his book, Friedlander chronicles the behind the scenes activities of this unique individual and he teaches us the major lessons of the strategies used by this iconic figure, to navigate through these negotiations in a way most would have thought impossible. Through preparation, integrity and wisdom, Mandela achieved the "almost impossible" and inevitably will be recorded in history as a tru hero and genius for his accomplishment. Friedlander uses the lessons learned from Mandela to teach us how at the opposite end of the spectrum involving corruption, deception and dishonesty, some significant scams unfolded, namely Madoff's Ponzi Scheme, Enron and Chelabi. He shows the reader how to recognize early warning signals and things to be wary of in any substantive negotiation. I believe this work should be prescribed reading for students of all ages but especially those in college, about to enter the work force. We need a greater commitment to the culture of integrity and moral authority and we need to move away from deception and skulduggery and blatant dishonesty in dealings. With a greater awareness of the principles outlined in this fascinating work, no longer will people be able to hide behind the "everyone is doing it" mentality. A most educational and intellectually stimulating work, which I recommend highly to any student.
From the moment I opened the crisp and striking cover, to the very last page, I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Friedlander's new book.
Having grown up in South Africa during the apartheid era, I could easily identify with the history and culture that Friedlander so eloquently describes. Friedlander gives us an excellent overview of the makings of Nelson Mandela against the backdrop of a tumultuous and evolving South Africa. Nelson Mandela is an icon. A man, who after a lifetime of suffering, turned around and forgave his oppressors and managed to peacefully reconstruct a deeply divided country. The gravitas of this great leader is manifested throughout the book. But beyond this, Friedlander is uniquely able to draw on the lessons of Nelson Mandela to articulate many useful ways for us to become more skilled at negotiations as well as ways to detect scams that are so prevalent in our every day lives.
The books start with an overview of scams in general and later on with three well-known recent scams in particular (Enron, Bernard Madoff and Ahmed Chalabi.) Friedlander clearly and coherently shows us what to look out for and points to some of the questions that we should be asking in trying to detect these ever-increasing scams. In a very simple but powerful way, Friedlander uses his own creation of the `Duck School', to cement in our minds the universal truth that no matter what else we are hoping to believe: if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is in fact a duck.
The book also offers pragmatic advice in terms of how we can all become more skilled and effective negotiators. Friedlander uses the `10 Powers of Negotiation' that he compiled after researching how Nelson Mandela dealt with the South African government in the historic negotiations which ended apartheid. Friedlander shows us how these `10 Powers of Negotiation' can be used not only in business, but in any type of negotiation. His '10 Powers' are easy to understand and to apply and above all are really commonsensical. They are very pertinent in today's troubled times, where everyone is out there to make a quick buck. Friedlander shows us what to look out for and which questions to ask which will hopefully avoid us being duped.
The book is easy to read and one feels one gets to know Michael Friedlander and appreciate his easygoing style and terrific sense of humor, through each page turned. I highly recommend this book. It is a refreshing and unique approach to very worthy subjects, from which we can all take something very valuable away.
"The shaded lies are subtle shadings of the truth. Here, the scammers will tweak the truth. Consider a financial disclosure statement in which the numbers are accurate, but that contain disclosures that shade the truthful numbers. To detect the shaded lie often requires the help of professionals, which is why the best scammers often will offer us help through their respectable surrogates." "Of all of the lies, however, the lies of omission are the most difficult to detect. Here, quite simply, the scammer is deliberately not telling us something--knowing that this will mislead us. To detect lies of omission requires unusual listening and reading skills. It requires you to listen for what is not said and to read what is not there."
In these two quotes in Detecting the Scam, Michael identifies two forms of lie. Michaels explanation provides how the scammer integrates the subtlety of deceit which is the primary intention of the scammer.
Michael has said it multiple times to me, there is nothing new in this book. What I do know is that the vantage point of "Detecting the Scam" is one that provides insight into and analysis of how come these scams occurred. Michael has taken several sets of tools and integrated them together to surgically and systematically perform the autopsy of a systemic issue of scams that we are currently enduring in our entire operations of industry and politics. 60 minutes on Sunday 3/13/2011 interviewed the man behind the misinformation regarding the invasion of Iraq. If the interview had utilized the tools Michael identified and the systematic integration of using the tools; "The Subway Test", "The Emperor' New Clothes", "Duck School", " Ten Powers of Negotiation", and "Nelson Mandela's Early lessons" this interview might have not ended in the manner it did and real information might actually have come to light regarding what was behind the why of providing the misinformation.
A number of people collect these tools throughout their lives yet fail to gain the mastery of understanding how to use a tool, how the tools integrate with each other, and how tools of different categories interchange with other tools. "Detecting the Scam" has provided for each reader three case studies to apply these tools. Michael's new vantage point challenges the reader into digging into ones inner understanding of the common sense and personal integrity of one's original moral compass as a means to evaluate, approach, and navigate our interactions in business and politics. The challenge is for each reader to understand how to master the integration of the tools in a manner that provides optimal insight in navigating the day to day activities with the various individuals or organizations one encounters during their journey in life.
You can't judge a book by its cover or title. Admittedly, the subtitle "The Gift of Nelson Mandela" sort of threw me off. What you find in these pages, however, is a fascinating account of the biggest scams perpetrated on us in recent years, and answers the question -- "HOW THE HELL DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS?!" More importantly, this book tells us how each and every one of these big scams, from ENRON and Bernie Madoff to the non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, could all have been stopped cold if someone would have simply raised their hand and pointed out the obvious. It's about people believing what they want to believe in the face of hard evidence and common sense. What does Nelson Mandela have to do with this? The author sees all scams as a negotiation between the scammer and the "mark." Mandela was an excellent and exemplary negotiator. Learning from a master negotiator, we see the skills all of us can master to avoid being ripped off. And while blame is only important to drunks and lawyers, the author (a lawyer) knows where to place the blame for the incredible lack of ethics and honesty in the worlds of big business and corrupt international politics. Overlook the suitcase cover and peculiar title -- go for this book with gusto -- it is a wonderful reading experience, vastly entertaining, and ultimately a valuable resource for anyone concerned with not having enough wool pulled over their eyes to make Little Bo Peep a full winter outfit. Trust me. This book is a bargain! I suggest you decide to buy it IMMEDIATELY before someone else takes advantage of it's low price and easy availability!
In a country where drinking out of the wrong water fountain could get you thrown into jail, Nelson Mandela negotiated with a government committed to discrimination and became the first black president of South Africa. Even though he had struggled to achieve liberation from a white community which rejected blacks, he wanted to include whites in the government. His leadership, moral integrity, and negotiating skills make him one of the great figures of the 20th century.
Michael Friedlander, a South African, grew up with Apartheid and witnessed the transformation of a country by the vision and character of this one man. Friedlander shows how scammers work like magicians keeping our minds on the shiny object while slight of hand makes us believe the impossible can happen. He gives us practical tools for detecting the scam and protecting ourselves in our ordinary lives while recognizing how major scandals like Enron and Madoff can take place.
In an age when con men and scams seem to have reached epidemic proportions, this is a great survival manual. He uses the example of Mandela and gives specific steps to demonstrate how, with the right awareness, inner strength, and personal integrity, we can negotiate with scammers and con artists and come out on top. This is a terrific book.
Michael Friedlander's book "Detecting The Scam: Nelson Mandela's Gift" skillfully combines several diverse themes into an illuminating, insightful and entertaining read.
Rooted in Nelson Mandela's journey from prisoner to president, the book explores Mandela's masterful negotiating strategies, principles and `moral authority' and demonstrates how we can apply these same strategies and principles in avoiding unscrupulous scams of disastrous proportions.
The book offers great insights and information on many levels: Mandela's life story per se is extraordinary and Friedlander's treatment of this remarkable piece of history is superb. He adds great insights, unique nuggets of detail and fascinating anecdotes not found in other `Mandela' books I have read. Overlay that with great lessons about negotiation and tie it all up with practical application to the modern day scourge of Madoff-type scams and you have a truly original and engrossing book that is worth devouring from start to finish.
Highly recommended and hats off to Michael Friedlander.
Michael Friedlander has done your work for you. After you completed his book DETECTING the SCAM, you will be prepared to save money, time, sanity, and see through anyone's unbelievable rhetoric (BS). Whether the pitchman (or woman) is selling religion, politics, sex, or any product you will know because the truth indicator in your gut (really your limbic brain) will send up warning flares that say, "If it sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, it's probably a duck." Michael does emphasize that many times the reason that you buy into a scam is because you want so badly to believe that it will change your life in some good way. He acknowledges your ability to rationalize anything you deeply want even when you know its not going to work. In his effort to make his case for the kind of ethical, thoughtful thinking it takes to recognize any scam he uses some dramatic examples. The one most positive and powerful is Nelson Mandala's courage, emotional sensitivity, and intelligence. He thoroughly explains how Mandala accomplished the impossible. It is an awe inspiring story. The Enron debacle and Bernie Madoof scam are clearly exposed in excellent journalistic style. They are depressing examples of how far we have allowed ourselves to be scammed by those who use the systems to feed on our gullibility - and greed. I look forward to June 17th when Michael will be on my radio show to discuss this fine book with me. Dr.Robert Rose
The book is facinating and reads more like a great novel then a factual book.
The history of Nelson Mandela and his struggle and triumph is exceptional. The misinformation that was written about him in the United States reminded me of why it is so important to have a free and unbiased media.
The best part is learning how to detect a "Scam", particularly due to our recent history of massive scams and people losing their life savings. As you read the book, I found I could see the current "Scam" being fostered on us by the government.