The Guy You Love to Hate: Piers Morgan on Cutting Through the Bull

September 1, 2015 Jeffrey Hayzlett

Whether you agree with him or not, one thing we can all agree on is that Piers Morgan is one polarizing person. His audacity and take-no-prisoners approach to business has shot him to the front of the media business and gave him a front row seat to world news as it was made.

I recently dug down deep with Piers on All Business to get to the heart of his feelings on business, the media and his time on CNN. And what he shared with me was very revealing – and I learned some great lessons:

On Drive…
Piers cut his teeth on London’s Fleet Street, center of the UK’s highly competitive daily newspapers business where some papers would sell 5-6 million copies a day. Growing-up in this rough-and-tumble world gave him the Fleet Street-smarts to rise to the top. When we talked about the pressures of being on TV, Piers shared that Celebrity Apprentice and Hollywood don’t compare to the pressures of British tabloid journalism.

 Take from your experiences and learn from them–draw strength from them, especially the tough times.

On Listening…
People give you hints as to what they really want so all you have to do is listen. Piers recalled the time we were on Celebrity Apprentice together, where I was delivering a challenge from Kodak. Piers and his team won easily, and he credits this to the listening skills he picked up from his journalism days along with his forensic eye for detail.

We have two ears and one mouth—so you can do twice as much listening as you do talking. When talking to your clients, employees, or family, really take the time to listen, not listening in order to respond. You’ll get all you need to know from listening to what they have to say and paying attention to how they say it.

On Business…
Business is about people. You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t have the people surrounding it to make it great, you won’t get anywhere. Piers believes that when you go home from work, thinking about business shouldn’t stop. He suggests that we all apply basic business principles to everyday life – and I agree! From domestic household chores to fixing the roof to cleaning the pool, it’s about negotiation, sourcing the best people, staying on top of the work they do, having a beginning-middle-end, and making sure everyone is on the same page.

On Preparedness...
As a journalist and interviewer, Piers understands the importance of being prepared. For someone who did over 1,250 shows in three and a half years for CNN, due diligence was critical to his success. He was so good at it that there were times he would do an interview and guests would say, “You know more about me than I do!” That’s the kind of impression you want to make in business. Whether you’re talking to a potential employee, a possible client, or a future vendor – make sure you’ve done your homework.

Follow Piers’ “Seven Ps”-- prior planning and preparation prevent piss poor performance.”

Stand for Something
Piers Morgan is probably best known for his stance on gun control – a stance so strong that it may have cost him his job at CNN. Still, he has no regrets about making his stand public, either. In business and in life, we need to have something we stand by, our flag in the ground that we want to be known for.

Listen to Piers’ full interview by visiting Play.It, and while you’re there – check out my interviews with Gene Simmons, Barbara Corcoran, and more!

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