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Nate’s Notes 60: Maggie Neale | Ask for What You Want

By March 27, 2023June 8th, 2023No Comments

Maggie Neale

Professor Emerita at the Stanford Graduate School of Business

Maggie Neale has had such a wonderful, productive, impactful career, and I love the lessons she shared.


Ask for what you want. Over and again Maggie asked Stanford for things that she wanted, expecting the answer to be “no” yet over and again she was surprised at the answer. We tend to underestimate how willing people are to help us, so we should ask for the things we want.  If we don’t ask, we already know we won’t get it. But if we ask, we might be surprised.


Let the data speak. The world is more complex than we appreciate, and our predictions are often wrong, sometimes in the complete opposite direction. But by letting the data speak, we open ourselves up to new ideas and opportunities, such as Katherine Phillips launching into a whole series of research by simply following the data.


Mentor others. One of the things that kept Maggie energized throughout her career was the relationship she had with her doctoral students. That relationship also led to entirely new fields of research that still pay dividends today.

Of the countless lessons Maggie could have shared from a 40+ year career, I think the lessons she did share are all the more important. Ask for what we want, let the data speak, and mentor others.

All simple ideas. Please take them seriously.

Maggie Neale Bio:

Maggie Neale is a Professor Emerita at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she worked for more than 20 years researching and teaching on the topics of negotiation and team performance.

Maggie has conducted negotiation and management seminars in more than 15 countries for trade associations, universities, small businesses, and Fortune 500 corporations. 

Maggie also serves as faculty director for three executive programs at Stanford: Influence and Negotiation Strategies, Managing Teams for Innovation and Success, and the Executive Program for Women Leaders.

She is the co-author of five books, and more than 70 academic articles.

I hope you enjoyed learning from Maggie Neale, because I certainly did. 

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