The N-Factor


You've probably heard of the television show, The X Factor. The premise is finding the contestant who embodies that certain star-making quality - whether it's through a special talent or personality trait.

Working with business executives and negotiators over the years, I've compiled a list of similar characteristics, mindsets, and skills that determine those leaders who stand apart form the rest. I call it the N-Factor.

The N-Factor is rarely innate. Like the warrior who spends years practicing and embodying the philosophy and principals of a samurai, the N-Factor has to be learned and cultivated with the right tools. Observing, studying, and developing the N-Factor in myself as well as my clients has led me to discover that those who possess it consistently meet their goals, build stronger agreements, and foster better relationships. Conversely, they're less indecisive too. Those who practice and are committed to mastering the N-Factor not only lead their organizations to great efficiency and success but their own professional and personal lives as well.


Success rarely comes from one attribute or technique. The samurai can't expect to succeed by focusing solely on the physical aspects of martial arts including sword wielding. He also needs to develop intrinsic attributes and a mindset that, when combined with his physical abilities, increase his chances for success on the battlefield.

The same holds true for the N-Factor. To develop it, you need to nurture certain qualities as well as integrate them with a system (to strategically prepare, brief, execute, and debrief) that allows you to grow and unleash your own N-Factor.

Good leaders who excel at negotiation possess empathy (which can be developed with the right training). They are fully present, listen intently, and exhibit body language that fosters a safe environment for a genuine discourse and true rapport with their counterparts. This approach opens the door to create solutions that encourage all sides to authentically say yes or no.

Effective negotiators do possess many of the above qualities or mindsets, but they alone do not make a strong negotiator. There has to be an endgame in sight. It starts with four pillars that create an effective negotiation system.

Learn more about how you can live like a samurai and negotiate fearlessly. Download my complimentary e-book, Sharpen Your N-Factor.


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