Following “thirty years of professional condescension and making out like bandits”, and sick and tired of (inaccurate) proclamations of doom, Keith Craig wrote an infamous “suck it up” letter to the FT. Note to their Establishment readership; you’ve messed it up, your time is done, make way for the new breed.
This subsequently led him to the pinnacle of an At Lunch With … Becky Milligan grilling.
As a man spending a long career finding out “secrets”, there’s plenty of juicy wisdom to transfer onto the politics of a solution sell. For starters;
“You don’t find out what’s going on in the whorehouse by talking to the vicar. Well, not normally.”
How often do we think we know what’s going on, yet deep down we realise we’re merely getting it third-hand (at best)?
Next, there was a wonderful lesson in dismissal. Ever suffered the sleepless nights of wondering on the impact of a “supposed”, specific conversation? His message is clear; “if you cant tell if something’s genuine or not, you just discount it”.
Then a top tip emanating from when files came marked in red Top Secret UK Eyes Alpha.
It seems much of the secrecy around intelligence is to protect its source. Top Secret refers to where it came from. It could well be false. ‘The secrecy part is about protecting where it comes from, rather than validation of accuracy’.
This strikes me as a common Sales failing. Far too frequently ‘content’ is wrongly allowed to outweigh ‘source’ (and to a lesser extent, vice versa).
Finally, you’ve got to love his recital of an old intelligence saying;
“people will believe anything if you whisper it to them”
Where’s your volume gauge set for your received messages?