Succession season 4 returned on March 26, 2023, giving us a moment to reflect on the pitfalls of high-stakes negotiations. The hit HBO series is an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of business leaders. Read on to discover what you can learn from the Roy family’s battle for Pierce Global Media.



The return of HBO’s hit series Succession is generating buzz among viewers. The show offers a critical view into the complex relationships, power dynamics, and corporate jargon often found in corporate America.

In the first episode of season four, viewers are offered a moment of reflection on the pitfalls to which business leaders often succumb in high-stakes negotiations. The show follows the Roy family, the wealthy and powerful clan behind the fictional international media and entertainment giant Waystar Royco.

In the episode, patriarch Logan Roy is in negotiations with digital media company Gojo to acquire his company. Kendall, Roman, and Shiv team up to bid against their dad for Pierce Global Media (PGM), a media conglomerate, by liquidating their stakes in Waystar after the company is sold to GoJo. The episode highlights classic mistakes that business leaders frequently make in high-stakes situations.

First, negotiators should avoid offers they cannot justify. Overconfidence leads negotiators to underestimate their counterparts, making them make unrealistic demands or unreasonably low bids. Second, negotiators should frame their proposal.

By framing the proposal in a way that emphasizes its benefits and minimizes its drawbacks, they increase the likelihood of their offer being accepted. Anchors are also essential in negotiation as they aim to influence the other party’s perception of the value of subsequent offers. The first offer presented in a negotiation can have a significant impact on the final outcome, even if it is not accepted.

Overall, Succession provides viewers with a glimpse into the complexities of corporate America, highlighting the challenges that business leaders face in high-stakes negotiations. The series serves as a cautionary tale to business leaders, encouraging them to avoid common mistakes that can hinder successful negotiations.



  1. Negotiations: The internal and external crises that threaten the stability and future of the Roy family’s media empire.
  2. Pitfalls of high-stakes negotiations: Classic mistakes that business leaders frequently make, including overconfidence, unpreparedness, and underestimating their counterparts.
  3. Avoid offers you can’t justify: Negotiators who provide explanations for their proposals are more likely to reach agreements than those who do not offer any justification.
  4. Frame your proposal: Negotiators can increase the likelihood of their offer being accepted by framing their proposal in a way that emphasizes its benefits and minimizes its drawbacks.





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