Leadership Skills and Best Practices


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Media as Leader

Posted 4:49 PM by
In my previous blog I expressed deep concerns about the choice of leadership that 43% of the electorate made in selecting the President-elect of the United States. The communication and behavior of this individual since has not changed my concerns about the level of maturity and the potential for unethical behavior. I now have a much greater concern that reaches beyond the Oval office. The President is one individual and leads the executive branch of government. Usually we can count on the two other branches of government to ensure the efficacy of a system of checks and balances the... Read more →

A Message to America

Posted 8:57 PM by
America, we have a problem. Sixty million people voted for a person with the least experience of any individual aspiring to the office of President of the United States. He received nearly 2 million votes less than his opponent, and has the lowest approval rating of a candidate running for this office. A man who questioned the citizenship and authority of the current President and who characterized him as an illegal immigrant became the voice for those who refused to acknowledge his presidency and for those who from the first day of his election vowed to make him a one... Read more →

Negotiation Lesson #6: Working Backwards Can Help You Move Forward

Posted 2:55 PM by
When facing a complex, multi-party, multi issue negotiation, one way to manage the complexity successfully is to, “Begin with the end in mind.”  Develop a negotiation process map.  The word, “process” in this context refers to how one will negotiate.  There are always two levels in any negotiation: the first level deals with process, determining “how,” the parties will negotiate.  The second level of negotiation deals with substance, “what” it is you will negotiate for, i.e., a higher salary, new technology, or a sales contract. Begin the process negotiation with all negotiation parties in the room, jointly articulating... Read more →

Claiming a Different Kind of Leadership

Posted 4:12 PM by
I have been interested in the subject of leadership for several decades and have been privileged to have had many opportunities to develop a number of national and state wide leadership education programs. The Lilly Endowment Leadership Education Program, a statewide initiative with a vision of making Indiana a hallmark state, noted for its programs and services to young adolescents, was one of them. During the selection process for Lilly Fellows I asked applicants one question they all still remember, “Why do you think you are a leader?” The long silence that followed indicated that this was not a question... Read more →

Negotiation Lesson #5: Labor Management Negotiations

Posted 1:36 PM by
Negotiating When There is No Trust, No Working Relationship and a Bad History One morning in early January, the phone in my office rang and the individual on the other end of the line laid out the following negotiation challenges:My name is ___________ and our organization has to negotiate with the most powerful union in our state.They openly brag that they’ve won everything but the kitchen sink. Contract negotiations three years ago were nasty and contentious; as a result, we don’t like them and they don’t like us. We don’t trust them, but we... Read more →

Ten Antidotes for Non-Adaptive Leadership

Posted 4:47 PM by
I am beginning to wonder whether politicians can be adaptive leaders. My observation is that too many of them pedal paranoia, cultivate distrust, and encourage either denial or distortion of facts. Debates devolve into a denigration of differences rather than a civil exploration and examination of complexity and the unknown. The impact on constituents is cynicism, intellectual laziness, projection and scapegoating. Rather than those following being encouraged to look within and deal with substantive issues they are directed to stick with the external and the superficial. This way of “leading” encourages inauthentic behavior, avoidance of self-responsibility, and blaming. The... Read more →

Change Is An Inside Job

Posted 8:22 PM by
Change. Leaders predict and manage it; mobilize and lead it. Followers demand and deny it. The current clamor for change is influenced by a view of reality that the world is in a state of deterioration, disruption, and decline. Supporters of this view point to shrinking resources, increased poverty, violent conflict, and divisive rhetoric as a rationale. Others perceive the current world condition as being in an historic period of transition, a process of tremendous growth and transformation, and a time during which many innovative creative opportunities exist for forming a new and different future.  Which of these views is... Read more →

Negotiation Lesson #4: “When Emotions Threaten to Derail Negotiations: Focus on Process not Substance”

Posted 4:31 PM by
This is the fourth blog in my series, titled, “10 Negotiation Lessons.”  Lessons 1-3 have advised you to “Always Test Assumptions,” “Address Elephants and Red Flags Early,” and “Make the Invisible Visible.” Today’s lesson deals with emotions. A goal I hear most often when teaching negotiation skills is, “I want to learn how to get rid of emotion.”  If you’ve ever been involved in a negotiation where parties yelled, cursed, threatened or abruptly stormed out of the room, you can understand that sentiment.  However, it is impossible to get rid of emotions, they come with being human... Read more →

The Integrated Leader: A Matter of Trust

Posted 7:26 PM by
Trust. This is a word we are hearing with increased frequency during this season of 2016 political campaigns. It reverberates throughout the rhetoric and analysis of those seeking office. The decline in trust in authority whether institutions or individuals is decades old. Perhaps its’ current prominence emanates from the fact that we are now intently focused on making decisions about local, state and national leadership, which many believe will be identity altering. We are faced with the responsibility of deciding who we can trust to assume such significant positions of responsibility, of deciding in whom we will entrust inviolate values... Read more →

Negotiation Lesson #3: Negotiation Magic: Make the Invisible, Visible

Posted 4:30 PM by
What is highly visible in most negotiations, the other negotiator’s positions or demands?  However, it’s what’s invisible, the underlying needs, goals, fears and concerns that are driving the other negotiator’s demands that often gets in the way of achieving the best negotiation results.  The name for these underlying needs, goals, fears and concern’s is, interests.  The other negotiator is unlikely to share their real interests for fear of looking weak or being taken advantage of or because they aren’t even clear on what their concerns are.  It takes three things to make the invisible,... Read more →
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