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Leading Through Conflict: How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunities Hardcover – May 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1591399193 ISBN-10: 159139919X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Gerzon, hailed by the New York Times as an "expert in civil discourse," has worked as a facilitator and leadership trainer for the United Nations, the US House of Representatives, and a wide range of corporate and civic organizations around the world for more than a decade. He is the author of several books, including two bestsellers.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159139919X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591399193
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Based on not hard evidence or research.
J Settles
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.
David Gerard
Its a very quick read, and the examples give you real world ideas about how to apply the principles to your own situations.
Kitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Leading Through Conflict: How Successful Leaders Transform Differences Into Opportunities is an outstanding presentation of the business leadership ideas of Mark Gerzon (President of Mediators Foundation). Showcasing his experience-based approaches to creating a more productive and confluent environment throughout for corporate managers and administrators engaged in an organizational struggle or situational conflict, Leading Through Conflict offers an expert commentary on the three principle forms of leadership (demagogue, manager, mediator), and eight principle tools used in mediation for conflict resolution, Leading Through Conflict is very highly recommended as an expert study into handling conflict any business or any other type of organizational setting.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Gerard on May 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We highly recommend this outstanding contribution to the literature of leadership. Author Mark Gerzon offers not just a how-to guide for resolving conflict, but a handbook for changing the way leaders think about it. The author doesn't fear being opinionated and is clearly an idealist. Yet, his idealism is strongly grounded in, though not limited by, the practical. This is a guide to action, not a theoretical discourse. Many of the tools Gerzon identifies and describes have much broader application than just organizational conflict management. Indeed, leaders who thoroughly master such mental dispositions as "integral vision" and "presence" can do more than solve conflicts; they can help prevent them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erik Gfesser VINE VOICE on July 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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".Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The below reviews give an realistic portrayal of this well thought out book about conflict resolution.

5 star:
Eric Gfesser (July 27, 2008) & David Gerard (March 31, 2007)

3 star:
Barry Davis (May 20, 2011). This is the most accurate one.

The traits of a Demagogue are provided on pp.18-20, making this part of the book 5 star worthy.

p. 138 provides 9 techniques to improve one's listening skills.

p.235 provides guidelines for when a conflict unexpectedly occurs.

The author uses the ideas & quotes of Mandela, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Gandhi, Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Goleman and many others to serve as a foundation for his argument.

He stresses the importance of using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicatior, the Kouzes-Posner Leadership Practices Inventory and other personality profiles to help a leader improve their own self-awareness and Emotional Quotient, in general.

With over 75 ideas that I wrote down to be used for this review, I will provide a few here.

On its purpose: "Leading through conflict involves facing differences honestly and creatively, understanding their full complexity and scope, and enabling those involved to move toward original solutions. Such leadership requires going beyond the powerful, primordial responses to difference that result in an 'us versus them' mentality. It requires capacities that many leaders have never developed, bringing to bear both personal and professional skills that turn serious conflicts into rewarding opportunities for collaboration and innovation."

The definition of a conflict: "...usually consist of genuine differences compounded by stuck positions, fixed attitudes, hardened identities, and closed hearts.
Read more ›
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