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I’ve attended leadership classes and listened to my most empathic friends explain that a critical element of all successful collaboration is finding middle ground or meeting people part way. No kidding. They also tell me earnestly that neither reasonable discourse nor clearly stated expectations nor chest thumping yield maximum results. I appreciate their good intentions, but that’s about as useful as being reminded I need the “right tool for the job.” Platitudes aren’t the correct tool for any job. What I’d really like is a trail map, however crude, that reveals the hallowed “middle ground.”
A full-on map is probably asking too much. So how about some waypoints? Those you can find. For example, it turns out that a person's perspective about time will influence their choices and behavior. In a May 2010 presentation to the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University, explains that perspectives on time can shape an entire nation. How people organize personal experiences, their perspectives about how long things last, and pace, among other factors, influence whether people are future oriented, past oriented or present oriented. Dr. Zimbardo suggests “many of life’s puzzles” and even conflict “can be solved by understanding your perspective of time and that of others.”More
You’ve likely read the many remembrances of Stewart Udall, conservationist, former secretary of the interior, and the last surviving member of President Kennedy’s cabinet. Udall died March 20th in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of 90.
For many westerners, Stewart Udall earned elevated status as a favorite “son” who did well by and for the West. As Interior Secretary in both the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, Udall played a significant role in the preservation of 3.85 million acres of public lands, which included the creation of 50 new national wildlife refuges, eight national seashores and four national parks—Canyonlands in Utah, North Cascades in Washington, Redwood in California and Guadalupe Mountains in Texas—not to mention 20 historic sites, including the now famous cultural hub, Carnegie Hall.More
The bulk of Orton’s Heart & Soul approach focuses on collaboration that develops the H&S “environment,” implements results through H&S project work and successfully defends against shortsighted threats to H&S values. This approach requires new behavior and thinking by emphasizing broad public participation, identifying shared values and reconciling values with priorities.
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