The Integrated Work of Leadership©

The Integrated Work of Leadership©

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 →

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 →

On Being an Adaptive Leader

Posted 1:33 PM by
Leadership is not a stand-alone subject; there is always an introductory adjective in front of it.  Whatever the descriptor preceding leadership, the one element all of them have is that of authority, what I define as the capacity to influence others and change things. Leaders have authority, they use it as advocates and implementers of change, whether the locus of change is a system, a person, a culture or a community. Change emanates from the leader’s exercise of authority. It is the expression of power. A leader’s authority or power derives from a variety of things such... Read more →

Creating Space for Adaptive Leadership Development

Posted 9:48 PM by
The definition of space has varied meanings: “a period of time; a limitless area in which all things exist and move; an empty place; the region beyond the earth’s atmosphere; a definite place; the distance between people; intervals between time; an arrangement of items.” None of these convey the importance this concept has become in leadership development. From quantum physics we have learned that space is a field of energy and infinite connection rather than vast void. The connections are not discernible to the human eye; and can be detected and substantiated indirectly through scientific tools.  The inability to... Read more →

Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

Posted 8:48 PM by
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” These words immortalized in the raspy soul-filled rendition by Janis Joplin come to mind as most appropriate for these times. Times when civility is devalued, an independent press is under daily attack; national institutions are portrayed as enemies of the State, when we are blatantly bombarded with lies, and when ad hominem attacks on leaders are repeatedly tweeted from the highest office. I feel the ground of decency once shared by most, permanently shifting, leaving us abandoned and insular, fighting to avoid being sucked down any further.  I wonder... Read more →

Negotiation Lesson #9: Explicitly Raise and Address the Issue of Trust

Posted 1:23 PM by
Trust is critical but not essential in negotiations. During the cold war we negotiated with the Russians all the time, but we didn’t trust them.  However, when there is trust between and among the parties to a negotiation, the sky’s the limit in terms of achieving creative, flexible, efficient effective, optimal agreements. This level of trust is built over time. When trust is absent, and both sides enter negotiations with their defenses up, agreement is possible, but it will take longer to reach an agreement and it is likely to be a sub-optimal agreement.  One would think... Read more →

Negotiation Lesson #8: Utilizing the Media in Negotiations

Posted 4:42 PM by
Normally, we advise clients not to negotiate in the media.  Negotiating in or through the media tends to lead to posturing, blaming, attacking and hyperbole.  Instead the parties to any critical negotiation should as a part of their process negotiations, agree in advance, on the ground rules for dealing with the media.  There should also be protocols for dealing with any breaches of an agreement on how to deal with the press.  They should agree on who on each team will speak to the press and what other members of the team should do when approached by the press.  If... Read more →

How Trust Works

Posted 4:26 PM by
Once again I am drawn to the subject of trust the glue that holds everything together. What is Trust? According to IBM’s Institute for Knowledge Management researchers and authors, Daniel Z. Levin, Rob Cross, and Lisa Abrams it consists of two components – benevolence and competence. Researchers Roger C. Mayer, James H. Davis, and F. David Schoorman[1] identified a third component – reliability. We have developed a model that incorporates this research.  The Ki ThoughtBridge model uses the language of Competence, Character, and Compassion as essential to trust.   Competence is trust that the other party is skilled and knows what... 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 →

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 →

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 →

The Integrated Adaptive Leader

Posted 1:33 PM by
Our philosophy and methodology of teaching integrated adaptive leadership development is predicated on a belief that who the leader is, is as important as what the leader does; that character counts; that leaders must possess a set of core values and beliefs that guide their perspectives and decisions in a fair and ethical manner; and that leadership is an integrated endeavor in which the whole leader matters. Absent these, the ability to lead is impaired. The integrated adaptive leader creates trust - the glue that holds everything together. Without this, relationships are tenuous and the coin of the realm is self-... Read more →

The Seminal Skill in Adaptive Leadership: The Work of Building Trust

Posted 7:40 PM by
One of the first things we learn in life is whether and how to trust someone else. Our experience with our caregivers tell us whether we can be safe and secure in a dependent relationship, whether the environment is loving or hostile, open or closed to our discomfort, affirming or rejecting of who we are, and whether our basic survival needs will be met without fear. What we learn in these first relationships of trust-holding remain with us for all of our lives. They are the building blocks, the foundation for who we become. If we have not examined... Read more →

The Gifted Leader

Posted 3:50 PM by
One dictionary definition of gift is “the notable capacity for doing something.” When applied to leadership it infers an extraordinary and natural ability to make things happen and to influence others.  In our decades of leadership education, practice and development we have studied thousands of leaders, and every one of them had significant natural ability – what I would describe as gifts; but not all were equally effective.    There are theories that believe there are innate characteristics that set apart a few for leadership; the underlying belief is that not everyone is a leader. We know from trait theorists that many... Read more →

Thoughts in the Aftermath of Paris, Mali and Charleston, South Carolina

Posted 5:56 PM by
Why, in the 21st century, despite major advances in science, technology, medicine, communication, healthcare and the arts, are humans still resorting to primitive, outdated, ineffective processes like war and terrorism to address human conflict?  This is one of the questions that surfaced for me after the initial, “Oh no not again, sinking feeling,” I had in the pit of my stomach as I watched events unfold in Paris, and Mali last week.  The same kind of events keep happening in Israel, Lebanon, and Charleston, South Carolina, to name a few.  Why are the majority of ordinary citizens in America, Europe,... Read more →

The Missing Party: The Bridge Consultant

Posted 1:04 PM by
I recently attended the 17th Annual Conference of the International Leadership Association (ILA), “Leading Across Borders and Generations,” in Barcelona, Spain. Over 1,000 practitioners, educators and scholars from 53 countries partook in a panoply of pre and post conference offerings, workshops, round table discussions, poster sessions, member meetings, and plenaries. If you are in the field of leadership ILA is a vital resource and network to which to belong.  One of the three plenaries featured a co-keynote with Dr. Gill Hickman, Professor Emerita and inaugural faculty member in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and Jorrit Volkers, Dean... Read more →

The Confession of a Vacationer

Posted 1:27 PM by
I am preparing to leave for a vacation and no matter how organized I am it seems as though the work multiplies in the week prior to my departure. Mini-crises pop up, urgent phone calls are requested; new deadlines appear and my carefully thought out list of things to do seems to get longer. The tightness of time and the press of multiple demands and a myriad of details remind me of how important it is to take time away from what you do every day and allow your mind to rest and yourself to just be. In this... Read more →

21st Century Organizations: A Crucible of Organizational Conflict

Posted 9:30 PM by
Crucible: A vessel designed to withstand extreme temperatures without melting or cracking.  - Webster’s Dictionary  Can your organization withstand the extreme heat generated by conflict and globalization?Massive, rapid, ongoing change - changes, in technology, markets, economies, competition, communication, and governments have meant organizations have had to rapidly change their strategies and structures to survive and thrive. Change triggers transition which increases the frequency and intensity of organizational conflictGlobalization has created a more diverse economic market place and a more diverse workforce and has heightened cultural proximity.  Organizations must communicate across geographical, cultural and language boundaries.  The opportunities for miscommunication and... Read more →

The Urgent Need for the Inner Work of Leadership

Posted 2:02 PM by
Exercise "The more we love, the less we fear; the less we fear, the more we can love. If we exercise our bodies, we can lower our cholesterol. If we exercise loving-kindness, we can re-open the clogged arteries of the soul." -Br. Mark Brown Society of Saint John the Evangelists Above is the daily message I woke up to this morning. What a timely one it is for my soul feels a heaviness reminiscent of previous times, times when the Country’s shadow re-emerged, that part of the cultural psyche that is the repository of the least... Read more →

Negotiating With Your Boss or Anyone of Greater Rank or Status

Posted 12:47 PM by
The skill of effectively negotiating with those above you, i.e., “negotiating up,” is critical to your success in any organization.  Leaders need those on the leadership team to deliver hard truths and critical information they may not be eager to hear.  How you go about delivering that information will determine whether you are viewed with respect and appreciation or whether you get viewed as a, “trouble maker,” or, “not a team player.”  Negotiating with your leader begins long before there is an issue. You need to sit down and discuss with him or her.  The negotiation, influencing and persuading... Read more →

Living The Question

Posted 5:01 PM by
Ki ThoughtBridge's unique Integrated Model of Leadership (IML) includes The Inner Work of Leadership, and is essential to the development and practice of adaptive leadership. To think we can develop effective leaders in times of significant transition and complexity without engaging them in this deeper level of work is similar to thinking a book can be read by just reviewing its table of contents. The interior life of a leader is powerful data; it influences perceptions, shapes assumptions, and affects behaviors. Staying connected to this source helps leaders to be able to manage their emotions and behaviors and accurately... Read more →

The Adaptive Leader As Facilitator of Change

Posted 3:30 PM by
Ki ThoughtBridge works with individuals, organizations, and entire communities teaching and equipping them to lead change in an integrated manner.  We provide a range of resources and tools that we teach others to use.  It is difficult and very rewarding work, and we are passionate about doing the best work with our clients.  Part of the challenge is that the change management process begins with a description of symptoms that are causing us discomfort and disease. We have ideas about what might be causing the problem; we listen to the client’s self-diagnosis and attempted remedies, and what the... Read more →

Internal Negotiations: The Key to Success in External Negotiations

Posted 3:25 PM by
Often I begin a negotiation workshop or consulting session by asking participants to map out the people within their organizations with whom they must negotiate to do their jobs effectively.  I also ask them to map out the parties they must engage in their external negotiations, i.e., clients, customers, regulatory agencies, etc.  Then I ask, which set of negotiations are most difficult, internal or external?  Invariably, more people say that their internal negotiations are more difficult. Although this answer may seem counterintuitive, my experience is that they are correct.  Internal negotiations are more difficult than external negotiations.  In addition,... Read more →

Managing Emotions in Negotiation

Posted 3:18 PM by
When I lead a two or three day negotiation training workshop, I begin the workshop by asking participants to share their goals.  Invariably, someone in the group will say, “I want to learn how to take the emotion out of negotiations,” Others in the room will often nod their heads in vigorous agreement.  Others will say, “I want to learn how to deal with other people’s emotions in negotiation.”  The first goal, ridding the negotiations of emotion, is not only impossible it is not desirable.  The second goal, dealing effectively with the emotions of others is both possible and... Read more →

When Negotiation Fails…?

Posted 4:00 AM by
Not every negotiation you engage in, even if you are highly skilled, will be a success.  Although the collaborative process of negotiation Ki ThoughtBridge teaches is designed to maximize your possibilities for achieving negotiation success, the process also anticipates the reality that no method or process of negotiation can guarantee success every time.  This blog will explain how one simultaneously plans for the possibility of success and the possibility of failure at the same time.  Below, in figure one is the Seven Element Negotiation process Ki ThoughtBridge recommends for important, complex negotiations.   Six of the seven elements help you prepare... Read more →

What Not To Do When Negotiating With Your Boss or Anyone with Greater Power or Authority

Posted 2:39 PM by
In my last blog, I advised you on what you should do when negotiating with your boss or with anyone with higher authority or greater power than you have.  In this blog, I’m sharing a few things you should avoid doing.As a general rule, don’t negotiate with your boss when either of you are emotionally upset or angry.  If, during the negotiations, emotions start to get out of control, take a deep breath and slow the conversation down.  Try and reschedule the negotiation or take a break.  Examples of what to say:“This issue seems to have... Read more →

Dealing with Difficult Conversations

Posted 1:26 PM by
In a recent encounter with a very able colleague lamenting about having “lost it” in a situation in which there was in her view highly unprofessional behavior, I was reminded of how difficult it can be to be in such situations, and the courage and skill required to confront the individual involved.  It is a particular skill that Ki ThoughtBridge brings to our work, and one we always include in our leadership and negotiation trainings.  There are numerous instances in our personal and professional lives that can precipitate “losing it” but there are reasons why this doesn’t happen; the... Read more →

Process is Power in Negotiation: Don't Leave Process to Chance

Posted 12:14 PM by
Never leave the process you use to negotiate to chance or to the person or group with whom you are negotiating.  Generally, I tell my clients to beware of any negotiation advice that begins with, “always,” or “never”.  Why then, have I begun this blog with a, “never,” statement?  The answer, the process you use determines the value you are able to create and claim at the negotiating table.  Value refers not just to dollars and other tangible resources, but also to efficiency, and effectiveness in reaching an agreement, and the ability to implement and sustain what you’ve agreed... Read more →