Winning with Integrity: Getting What You're Worth Without Selling Your Soul

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September 1998

To the casual sports fan, Leigh Steinberg's name probably doesn't carry the same weight as many of the top professional athletes he represents, but ask the owner of every NFL team about Leigh and they will be sure to have a good story for you. Leigh Steinberg is the agent to some of the biggest names in sports. He has negotiated more than $2 billion in contracts, and his clients include Troy ...
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Overview

September 1998

To the casual sports fan, Leigh Steinberg's name probably doesn't carry the same weight as many of the top professional athletes he represents, but ask the owner of every NFL team about Leigh and they will be sure to have a good story for you. Leigh Steinberg is the agent to some of the biggest names in sports. He has negotiated more than $2 billion in contracts, and his clients include Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Drew Bledsoe, and Kordell Stewart.

In Winning with Integrity: Getting What You're Worth Without Selling Your Soul, written with Michael D'Orso, Steinberg provides readers with an insightful guide to the essential steps of an effective negotiation. What better expert in the art of negotiation is there than Leigh Steinberg? As a 25-year-old agent, he inked the deal for the record-breaking $650,000 contract gained by Steve Bartkowski in 1975. He was also the man who negotiated Troy Aikman's landmark $11.2 million rookie contract in 1989, and most recently he negotiated a seven-year, $42 million package for Drew Bledsoe that included an $11.5 million signing bonus, the largest in league history.

After brokering some of the most groundbreaking player contracts in sports history, Steinberg has learned a little something about the art of negotiating. He notes that success at the bargaining table is not about conflict; rather, "successful negotiation is the result of comprehensive research and building a well-reasoned position, of studying and fully understanding the other party's position -- perhaps more fully than they understand themselves -- then bridging the gap between your position and theirs with a persuasive, mutually-satisfying proposition based upon facts, reason and fairness rather than upon willpower, desire or deceit."

Through the personal journeys of marquee professional athletes that Steinberg represents, he demonstrates step-by-step techniques that are necessary in getting two parties to come to terms. While very few readers will ever have a need to negotiate a multimillion-dollar contract, the theories and practice involved in these deals can be carried over to any act of negotiating. Steinberg writes, "This is a book about the process of negotiation -- which means this is a book about life and the inescapable fact is that each of us every day is faced with a number of decisions that require some level of negotiation." Winning with Integrity truly reflects the wisdom and experience of a genuine sports agent. In a world of cutthroat and greedy business practices, Leigh Steinberg shows how it is possible to negotiate a big deal while keeping integrity intact.

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Weiner
Traditionally, nice guys get run over in the business world, because it is war. Even in sports. Only Leigh could write a book which tells how to win the war while still keeping personal integrity intact. -- USA Today
SF Examiner Magazine
There really is a Jerry Maguire. Only he's not some schlumpf struggling to make it on a wing and a prayer like Tom Cruise in the movie. . . . His name is Leigh Steinberg, and he's been cultivating a choirboy image for 20 years. He also happens to be the pre-eminent sports agent of our time.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sports agent Steinberg has represented some of the biggest, best-paid names in professional football--Drew Bledsoe, Troy Aikmen, Steve Young--and has pushed the salaries of these athletes ever upward. Refreshingly, he attributes such successes at least partially to his ethical and conscientious business philosophy. Writing with journalist and author D'Orso (Rise and Walk), Steinberg conceives of this sportsmanlike guide through the fundamentals of negotiating as "a book about life." In order to negotiate effectively, he insists that one begin "with an understanding of yourself--a brutally honest assessment that is not always easy to attain"--and admonishes readers to "ask yourself what is going to make you happy before you pursue [your goal]." As a coach prepares his team for a big game, Steinberg sets up the playing field with clearly defined chapters (Orientation, Preparation, Positioning, The Encounter, Making the Deal), gearing them toward anyone trying to make a deal--be it landing a job, getting a promotion, even buying a car or house. Some of the techniques may not fly with your average boss or job interviewer (Steinberg suggests responding to an irate negotiator by saying, "Do you think I hear you any more clearly when you raise your voice?"), but his moral philosophy, "that it is always more advantageous to act ethically, to take the high road," is what makes his book a useful guide. 10-city author tour; available on audio, -40447-3. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Negotiating tips from the sports agent who inspired the film Jerry Maguire.
SF Examiner Magazine
There really is a Jerry Maguire. Only he's not some schlumpf struggling to make it on a wing and a prayer like Tom Cruise in the movie. . . . His name is Leigh Steinberg, and he's been cultivating a choirboy image for 20 years. He also happens to be the pre-eminent sports agent of our time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375501791
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/25/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Leigh Steinberg has been a sports lawyer for twenty-four years. His law firm, Steinberg & Moorad, represents over one hundred athletes. A frequent national radio and television guest host and analyst, Leigh was technical adviser to the film Jerry Maguire. He divides his time between Newport  Beach and Berkeley in California.

Michael D'Orso is an award-winning journalist and the author of nine books, including Like Judgment Day: The Ruin and Redemption of a Town Called Rosewood and Rise and Walk, written with former New York Jets defensive end Dennis Byrd. His work has appeared frequently in Sports Illustrated.

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Read an Excerpt

The 12 Essential Rules of Negotiation From Winning With Integrity: Getting What You're Worth Without Selling Your Soul

1. Align yourself with people who share your values.

2. Learn all you can about the other party.

3. Convince the other party that you have an option -- even if you don't.

4. Set your limits before the negotiation begins.

5. Establish a climate of cooperation, not conflict.

6. In the face of intimidation, show no fear.

7. Learn to listen.

8. Be comfortable with silence.

9. Don't play split-the-difference.

10. Emphasize your concessions; minimize the other party's.

11. Never push a losing argument to the end.

12. Develop relationships, not conquests.

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