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Hasard Lee on Thinking Clearly Under the Stress of Selling Your Business


About this episode


Negotiating the sale of a business sale is intense and emotional for founders. Clear thinking is vital. In our second expert series installment, we feature Hasard Lee, a renowned clear-thinking expert.

Lee, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, authored the international bestseller, The Art of Clear Thinking. This Wall Street Journal bestseller, #2 in U.S. business books, has been translated into multiple languages.

As a flight commander in Afghanistan, Lee led over eighty combat missions, piloting two different jets on the same day in support of ground troops. Selected to fly the F-35, a cutting-edge, costly weapons system, he later became Chief of Training Systems at the world’s largest training base, innovating pilot training technology and methods.

Lee’s book translates combat lessons into daily life. Today he provides a mental toolbox for founders, guiding clear thought amid the emotional challenges of selling a business. In this episode, you’ll discover how to:

  • Think clearly in a crisis.
  • Leverage the ACE Helix method for making better decisions.
  • Find your optimal band of performance.
  • Apply power laws to your decision making.
  • Visualize a negotiation by “chair flying.”
  • Prepare to meet with an acquirer using a military technique called “red teaming.”
  • Overcome bad decisions before they turn lethal.

Check out our full M&A Glossary

Show Notes & Links

Hasard’s Website

The Art of Clear Thinking

Follow Hasard on LinkedIn


The Ace Helix Framework

  1. Assess: This step involves a thorough evaluation of the situation or challenge at hand. It requires gathering relevant information, understanding the context, and identifying potential opportunities and threats. This assessment is critical for making informed decisions and is foundational to the framework.
  2. Choose: After a comprehensive assessment, the next step is to make strategic choices. This involves deciding on the best course of action based on the assessment’s insights. Choosing requires prioritization, considering resource constraints, and aligning with overall goals and objectives.
  3. Execute: The final step of the framework is execution, where the chosen strategies or plans are implemented. This phase is about putting ideas into action, managing the process, adapting as needed, and ensuring that the objectives are achieved.

About Our Guest

Hasard Lee

Hasard Lee is a renowned U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and author of the international bestseller “The Art of Clear Thinking.” His book, a Wall Street Journal Bestseller, ranks as the second top-selling business book nationally and is translated into numerous languages. As a flight commander in Afghanistan, Lee led missions in over eighty combat flights, showcasing his skill by flying two different jets into combat on the same day. Selected to pilot the advanced F-35 during its development, he later became the Chief of Training Systems at the world’s largest training base, innovating in pilot training and technology.

“The Art of Clear Thinking” encapsulates Lee’s experiences and insights from his extensive career, offering valuable decision-making strategies applicable in business and life. His compelling keynote presentations, described as “visual storytelling” require audiences to “strap in,” and focus on leadership and risk management in high-pressure situations. Lee’s influence extends online, with his YouTube videos garnering 130 million views and reaching over 290 million people worldwide.

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