Leadership & Challenges

May 28, 2014

If You Hate Conflict Then Leadership is Not For You by Robert Tanner

Filed under: Leadership — gabebad @ 9:51 pm

If You Hate Conflict Then Leadership is Not For You

John was highly intelligent and cooperative. He excelled at his craft and he took pride in his work. Others liked to work with him.

Senior leadership took notice. They promoted him to management. John did well and he quickly progressed to middle management. As John progressed higher into the upper levels of management, however, his effectiveness declined. With time, John’s promising career stalled as his organizational area fell into chaos.

Some of his ambitious peers were secretly happy with his problems. His problems cleared the way for them to compete for the few top leadership posts in their organization. John saw his dreams of becoming a senior executive disappear. Over a period of ten years, the Board of Directors twice passed over John for the few executive appointments available. Some of his peers that he had mentored even became his boss during this period.

Everybody loved John so he stayed in his role. No one respected him for his leadership skills, however.  His peers and the senior executives just worked around him. His managers and employees worked in chaos. His organizational area was inefficient, morale was poor, and infighting was common.

What was John’s failing? How did his progression to executive management come to an abrupt halt?

John’s one leadership flaw was that he hated conflict too much. In fact, he hated conflict so much that his main way of responding to conflict was to avoid it. When he could not avoid conflict, he would accommodate people by giving them what they wanted. At his core, John just wanted everybody to get along! He was a nice person who could adapt his style to work with anybody. He could not understand why the people around him could not get along.

John had the wrong attitude about conflict! Conflict is a part of the natural order of things. Baby animals struggle with each other for their share of food. Adult animals struggle for mates and territory. Naturally occurring fires spur new growth. And the list goes on!

Conflict in organizations is also a part of the natural order of things. Conflict does not have to be dysfunctional. In fact, productive conflict is necessary for organizational survival. As I explain in my book, Organizational Conflict: Get Used to It and Use It, eight reasons why managers should use conflict are to:

  • hold stakeholders accountable
  • improve processes
  • challenge outdated thinking
  • ensure continued viability
  • promote innovation
  • eliminate inappropriate behavior
  • address unclear direction
  • make the necessary tough decisions

If you hate conflict then leadership is not for you. Sometimes conflict is necessary!


February 22, 2013

Leadership & Challenges a New Year New Perspective

Filed under: Leadership — gabebad @ 9:25 pm

Over the past few years I have not really been keeping up with my own promise of writing on this blog.  It has been a challenge because of personal struggles I have been having with my leadership and management styles.  So this year I will once again make an effort to work on posting these thoughts and findings to share with others.

My goal for this year….

  • How to be a better mentor
  • How to be a better communicator
  • Learning to Listen for understanding
  • Slowing down the thought process
  • Everyone is not as fast at thinking


November 30, 2010

Goal Setting (Asking the Question)

Filed under: Goal Setting,Leadership — gabebad @ 2:05 pm
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Where do you see yourself in ____ year(s)?

I know that many of us have been asked this question on interviews and come up with some response to give to the HR or hiring manager. My question is how many of us take this seriously? In taking this question seriously have you really taken the time to answer where do you want to be in five , ten , twenty years from now. If you haven’t maybe you should just take some time and start setting some goals.

In the past few years we have all been faced with an economic recession, during this time people are losing their jobs and their patience looking for the new job. They are focused on meeting the basic needs for food clothing and shelter, but they are not looking for their passion. I have been to many seminars and workgroups in which these principals are given and everyone shakes their heads and says I will try that when I get back. Have you ever done an assessment of how soon you implement a strategy you learned in one of these courses. Most of us say we will but in reality we don’t because we get back into the same old rut and forget what we are going to implement.

The problem that we are facing is not putting it in writing, and hanging it up in our face to see every day.

to be continued…

April 28, 2010

Rite of Passage

Filed under: Leadership — gabebad @ 3:26 pm

In the next coming weeks I will speak to a group of young men, and give them some advice on what it is to be a man in the business world.  So what is a rite of passage?

rite of passage  
n.   pl. rites of passage
A ritual or ceremony signifying an event in a person’s life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

What is your rite of passage?

April 18, 2010

Student Business Case Competition

Filed under: Leadership — gabebad @ 9:00 pm
Tags: ,

As most of us have learned throughout our lives to deal with disappointment, it is always remarkable how our students will deal with and approach what they believe is fair/unfair.

In order for us to improve over time we need the ability to take and receive feedback.  As in real world examples a business case competition prepares our students for what types of questions an executive in the boardroom asks to employees and consultants. Over the past few weeks Graduate, Undergraduate, and High School students have been preparing to deliver an interesting case about financial planning, forecasting, and customer wants and needs in the retail market.  In this preparation there are long nights a lot of research and then need for information to summarized.  The students have had  time to prepare for what is necessary to deliver a presentation to a panel of judges.

The case competition teams were able to impress the judges and the competition.  This experience showed our high school students that anything is possible and that they could also do the presentation and why we show them the skills that we know will be necessary in college and their professional careers.

What will be next for them?  the Sage continues

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