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03/23/2010

How Do YOU Value Your Services?

Whenever there�s a debate about compensation, remember the story of the Arab emir who traveled to the U.S. to have a quadruple coronary bypass performed by a special surgeon. The surgeon was an internationally recognized expert who had performed many coronary operations with extraordinary success. But he was concerned about how much to charge the royal patient.

If he overcharged, it might mean unfavorable international press and a loss of goodwill. But if he undercharged, the sultan would feel the operation was not serious enough to require this doctor�s special skills. The surgeon consulted his colleagues, deciding to charge $10,000.

Then one of his friends suggested that he obtain advice from a lawyer specializing in Middle Eastern affairs. The attorney listened, pondered for a few minutes and then recommended that the surgeon submit a blank statement with a footnote, �The sultan is wise. He can do no wrong.�

It was a risky suggestion. It allowed the sultan to determine the worth  of the operation, yet the doctor decided to take the risk. Shortly thereafter he received a check from the sultan�s royal exchequer for $100,000. The doctor was elated.

But his euphoria lasted only a few days, at which time he received a blank invoice from his attorney. It had a footnote: �The value of your expert surgical skills is exceeded only by the value of your expert�s legal advice.�



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