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
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.�