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Leading Through Conflict: How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunities [Hardcover]

Our Price $ 29.75  
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Item Number 411684  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   273
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.52" Width: 6.34" Height: 1.06"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 12, 2006
Publisher   Harvard Business School Press
ISBN  159139919X  
EAN  9781591399193  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
As our world grows smaller, opportunities for conflict multiply. Ethnic, religious, political, and personal differences drive people apart--with potentially disastrous consequences--and it's the task of perceptive leaders to bring them together again World-renowned mediation expert Mark Gerzon argues that leaders have failed to rise to this challenge. Our organisations, schools, and governments remain filled with divisive dictators and everyday managers, instead of what he calls mediators--leaders who transform conflict so that everyone can move forward together. Through absorbing examples drawn from decades of work with organisational, political, and global conflicts of all kinds, "Leading Through Conflict" provides a powerful new framework for the leader as mediator, and outlines eight specific tools these leaders use to transform seemingly intractable differences into progress on deep-seated problems. Both practical and passionate, this book makes the tools of cross-border leaders accessible to anyone who wants to help create healthier companies, communities, and countries.

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More About Mark Gerzon

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mark Gerzon's role as chronicler of the postwar generation's journey began with his 1969 best-seller, "The Whole World Is Watching. " Designated the "weathervane of the baby-boom generation" by the "Boston Globe ," he is also the author of "A Childhood for Every Child, ""A Choice of Heroes, " and "A House Divided: Six Belief Systems Struggling for America's Soul. " He leads midlife workshops nationwide with his wife, Shelley Kessler.

Mark Gerzon currently resides in Boulder, in the state of Colorado.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A discussion of the leader as mediator  Jul 27, 2008
In this work, Mark Gerzon presents what he views as the three faces of leadership (the demagogue, the manager, and the mediator), followed by a discussion of eight leadership tools for the mediator: integral vision, systems thinking, presence, inquiry, conscious conversation, dialogue, bridging, and innovation. The author states at the outset in his introduction that he wrote this book because "although conflict is built into our commercial and civic institutions, the skills for dealing with it are rarely taught". According to Gerzon, the demagogue "leads through fear, threats, and intimidation", "turns opponents into scapegoats", "uses lies and propaganda to dehumanize the other", and "resorts to violence to dominate or destroy the other". The author admittedly refers to extreme demagogues in order that this archetype be contrasted with the other two within the discussion, and although some of the individuals chosen are a bit tiresome, he makes his points well. The manager "operates based on an exclusive, limited definition of 'us'", "defines purpose in terms of the self-interest of his or her own group", "cannot or will not deal with issues, decisions, or conflicts that cross boundaries", and "is productive and effective only on home turf". It is within his discussion on managers that Gerzon starts to introduce small case study scenarios to illustrate the concepts being presented, and the remaining chapters follow this instructive pattern. The mediator "strives to act on behalf of the whole, not just a part", "thinks systematically and is committed to ongoing learning", "builds trust by building bridges across the dividing lines", and "seeks innovation and opportunity in order to transform conflict". The remaining chapters that focus on the eight leadership tools each conclude with several pages of tips that discuss how to apply what the author presents. For example, the first tool chapter, on integral vision, presents the following tips: "check your vision", "don't replace one border with another", "watch your language", "go to the balcony", "develop maturity of mind", and "learn to see through walls". In my opinion, the chapter on conscious conversation is especially well written. Included in this chapter is Table 8-1 which presents the eight forms of discourse (verbal brawling, debate, presentation/Q&A, discussion, negotiation, council, dialogue, and reflective silence), Figure 8-3 which presents ground rules to create a safe environment for open conversation, and Figure 8-4 which maps the forms of discourse to the demagogue, manager, and mediator. The chapter on dialogue furthers the discussion on discourse by its inclusion of Table 9-1, which compares debate and dialogue. Interestingly enough, the appendix was included for "all of us who lose our tempers" and for "those calmer souls who have to deal with people like us". Essentially, the appendix provides, in just 9 pages, some succinct principles for situations where time is of the essence. My only real criticism of this book is that the author evidently is not concerned about sharing his political bias within a discussion where one would think such bias would be a little less transparent. After a while, this bias gets a bit tiresome, much like his examples in the first chapter, but because this text was so well thought out this quality does not detract from the substance of the book.
Good For Managing Differences  Jan 14, 2008
A good skill set for any leader is how to manage conflict. It is something all leaders will face. The book helps in understanding how to lead through the challenges that often arise with conflict. One thing worth noting is conflict and leading is two different things. Readers might also value Leading Groups to Solutions: A Practical Guide for Facilitators and Team Members it also helps in harnessing the good that arises from differences of opinion.
Mark's book is consistent with the man himself  Aug 11, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this book after meeting Mark Gerzon and deciding that if he wrote a book it was worth reading. I was not disappointed. He covers subject matter that has been written about before with a fresh perspective, having practiced the art of leading through conflict with our national leaders, along with many international leaders who have made the world a better place for the rest of us. Conflict, as Mark says is inevitable, whether the hot or cold variety. You my as well learn how to constructively work through it.
Building Community through Leadership  May 31, 2007
Mark Gerzon's Leading Through Conflict is a primer for leaders interested in developing eight clearly-defined competencies that are required for effective leadership in any situation. Because of Gerzon's international consciousness and life experience, he is able to crisply distill the essential factors a leader must grapple with in order to get agreement. While you may have heard some of these competencies before--such as systems thinking, inquiry, or bridging--it is the way Gerzon positions and integrates these concepts that gives this book its unique value add. Moreover, the author includes and explicitly describes five to six tips for actually practicing each of these competencies. This book is so valuable that I not only use it in all of my leadership development classes, but I also provide it to every executive and leader I coach. Despite its depth of insight, this book is easy to read, but it is the type of book a leader will want to read several times. The book's numerous embedded pearls of wisdom, due in part to Gerzon's anecdotes ranging from local school board meetings to the World Economic Forum, are points that leaders will want to remember as they face conflicts every day.
Accessible, practical and wise   Mar 18, 2007
All leaders need this book. And, at times, we are all leaders in one way or another throughout our lives. Mark Gerzon provides an accessible, practical handbook on how to transform the world of human relationships with 8 simple, yet profound tools. Mediating conflict at home, in one's community, in the boardroom, or on the global stage is our collective calling these days. This book provides structure and wisdom for the journey.

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