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Key Takeaways

  • Effective leadership requires ongoing communication to ensure clarity and reassurance throughout project lifecycles. Consistent feedback and status updates close the communication loop, confirming that the intended message has been correctly received and understood.
  • Leaders spend a significant portion of their time managing negotiations and resolving conflicts. Ethical considerations in negotiations are vital, as decisions can impact organizational values and outcomes long-term.
  • Leaders should consider the broader consequences of negotiation decisions beyond immediate gains. Balancing self-interest with the impact on the community and economy is essential to avoid unintended negative outcomes.
  • Traits like humility and emotional intelligence enhance a leader’s effectiveness in negotiations and management. These qualities help understand and manage emotions, crucial for maintaining professionalism and respect in high-stakes environments.
  • Critical thinking and a clear understanding of problems are essential for innovation in leadership. Effective leaders evaluate all aspects of a situation to develop relevant and beneficial solutions to the organization’s goals.
  • Effective leadership requires ongoing development in critical thinking and leadership skills. Leaders should engage with educational resources and reflect on their actions to ensure they address the root causes of issues rather than just symptoms.
  • Staying informed through credible and objective sources is crucial for leaders to maintain the relevance of their strategies and decisions. Leaders should choose sources that offer practical insights into leadership and management.
  • Modern leaders face challenges such as navigating the implications of artificial intelligence on employment and implementing effective diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives without causing division.

Executive Summary:

Hey everyone! Welcome back to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Andrew DuBrin, a renowned professor and author. In Part A, Andrew shared his journey as a consultant and professor, noting the influence of his industrial psychology background. 

He discussed evidence-based decision-making and how understanding human behavior can be beneficial for effective leadership and negotiation. Additionally, Andrew outlined leadership principles such as strategic thinking, interpersonal skills, and managing political behavior within organizations. 

If you haven’t checked out Part A yet, we strongly recommend you do that first before listening to this one. Now, without further ado, let’s jump in. 

How Consistent Follow-Up Enhances Leadership And Clarity

Aram and Andrew discuss the importance of follow-up in leadership. 

The latter points out that leaders often neglect sustained communication post-initial efforts, failing to recognize the ongoing human need for reassurance and information. He uses the example of his experience with DocuSign to illustrate how unclear communication can leave people uncertain about whether actions have been completed correctly. 

Andrew emphasizes that constant feedback and status updates are crucial for closing the communication loop, ensuring that the message sent is the message received.

Leadership’s Role In Resolving Conflicts And Shaping Organizational Values

Next, Andrew discusses his motivation for writing about negotiations and conflict resolution, emphasizing their critical role in leadership. He notes that leaders and managers spend about 20% of their time resolving conflicts and negotiating, which he regards as essential components of their roles. 

Andrew recounts a personal anecdote to illustrate the importance of creating a positive negotiation environment, recalling how he confidently left a deposit for a Cadillac, reflecting trust and a positive climate in negotiation.

He also touches on the ethical aspects of negotiation, stressing the importance of not demeaning others and considering the long-term consequences of negotiation outcomes. Andrew points to union negotiations as an example, where achieving favorable terms might lead to unintended negative impacts, like layoffs at other divisions to fund contractual gains. 

Overall, the discussion underscores the importance of ethical considerations and their impact on overall organizational values and outcomes.

Understanding The Long-Term Impact Of Negotiation Decisions On Community And Economy

Moving on, Andrew discusses the importance of recognizing the long-term consequences of negotiation decisions, beyond just achieving short-term gains. He stresses the need to balance self-interest with broader interests that consider the impact on others. 

Andrew cites California’s minimum wage hike for delivery drivers, noting job losses and businesses turning to costlier services like GrubHub due to increased operational costs.

This situation resulted in higher costs for consumers and job losses, highlighting the unintended negative consequences of well-intentioned policies. Andrew argues for sensitizing people to these broader impacts through discussion and reflection, urging leaders and negotiators to consider both short-term achievements and long-term effects on the community and economy.

The Role Of Humility And Emotional Intelligence In Effective Negotiation And Leadership

Nolan asks Andrew about the significance of traits like humility and emotional intelligence in enhancing a person’s effectiveness as a negotiator or influencer. Andrew responds by highlighting that a balance in humility is crucial: too little may be perceived as arrogance, which is generally disliked, but too much can make one seem like a doormat. Properly balanced humility helps gain respect.

Regarding emotional intelligence, Andrew highlights its significance in understanding and managing emotions in negotiations and leadership roles. He points out that emotionally intelligent negotiators can read the emotions of others, understanding their desires and motivations, which is vital since negotiation is inherently emotional. Emotional intelligence also involves knowing how to control one’s emotions, like avoiding inappropriate anger or insults, which can undermine negotiation outcomes.

Andrew uses sports as an analogy, noting how a lack of emotional intelligence in high-pressure situations, such as football games, can lead to penalties and losses. This concept applies equally in professional settings where the ability to manage emotions can prevent detrimental outcomes like public conflicts with superiors. 

Overall, Andrew underscores that emotional intelligence and humility are not only essential for effective negotiation but also for managing professional and personal relationships.

Fostering Innovation In Leadership Through Strategic Problem-Solving And Conflict Management

In the same vein, Andrew discusses the relationship between critical thinking and innovation in leadership, particularly in managing team conflict. He emphasizes that critical thinking is essential for accurately identifying and understanding problems, a prerequisite for effective innovation. 

Andrew suggests that leaders must carefully evaluate all elements of a situation to determine the real issues at hand rather than making decisions based on incomplete information or isolated complaints.

Furthermore, Andrew highlights that innovation is dependent on a clear understanding of the problem to ensure that solutions are relevant and effective. He shares an example of the CEO of Williams Sonoma, who, upon facing company challenges, critically assessed the situation and strategically acquired additional companies that aligned with their core offerings of upscale home furnishings. 

This move, grounded in a solid understanding of the company’s strengths and market demands, led to successful outcomes despite competitive pressures.

The discussion points to the idea that leadership through conflict and innovation requires a deep, critical examination of the circumstances and a strategic approach to problem-solving that aligns with the organization’s broader objectives.

The Role Of Critical Thinking And Continuous Development In Effective Leadership

Moving on, Andrew delves into how leaders can enhance their critical thinking and innovation skills. He advocates for a deliberate approach to learning and applying critical thinking by suggesting that leaders take leadership courses and actively engage with materials that enhance their analytical skills. 

Andrew highlights the need to understand problems deeply, using high turnover as an example. He suggests looking beyond surface issues like salaries, focusing on underlying causes such as management practices.

The conversation highlights the necessity of using objective metrics to assess situations and the importance of slowing down enough to reflect on the real impacts of actions taken. This reflective practice is vital for leaders to ensure they are addressing the correct issues and not just symptoms of deeper problems. 

Andrew also points out that spending more time thinking critically upfront can save time and resources in the long run by preventing repetitive corrections.

Additionally, the dialogue touches on the idea that leadership is a continuously developing trait rather than a static quality derived from seniority. This perspective is crucial for organizations to recognize the need for ongoing leadership development beyond mere tenure.

Andrew’s Strategy For Staying Informed In Leadership Through Selective, Impactful Sources

Next, Andrew discusses his preferred sources for staying updated on the latest developments in leadership and management to maintain the relevance of his work. He identifies The Wall Street Journal as his primary resource, valuing its coverage of academic research and studies for staying informed on trends in human resources and other management topics. 

Andrew appreciates that the articles, while written by journalists, often reference scholarly work, prompting him to explore the original research.

He also mentions the Harvard Business Review, noting that while it remains a valuable source, he perceives it as increasingly politically motivated, which he feels can impact its objectivity. Additionally, he finds Reuters and Yahoo Finance to be useful for objective information.

Addressing academic journals, Andrew is critical of their practical utility, estimating that only about 10% of articles in journals like the Journal of Applied Psychology provide actionable insights for managers and leaders. He expresses concern about the relevance of academic publishing, which he believes often aims to impress peer reviewers more than advance practical understanding.

Overall, Andrew underscores the importance of selecting credible sources that provide direct, applicable insights into leadership and management practices rather than sources that may prioritize academic prestige over practical relevance.

Balancing Engagement And Objectivity In Human Resource Management And Conflict Resolution

Andrew discusses the complexities of writing textbooks on topics such as human resource management, negotiation, and conflict resolution. 

He outlines the significant amount of work involved in creating a textbook, which includes consolidating vast amounts of information from various sources, such as journal articles and publications like the Wall Street Journal. Andrew describes the process as akin to detective work, where he searches for valuable “nuggets of truth” with practical applications.

He highlights the dual audience for textbooks (professors and students), which necessitates a balance to effectively engage and educate both groups. This balancing act adds another layer of complexity to the writing process, requiring careful consideration of content to maintain interest and educational value.

Further, Andrew acknowledges the challenge of removing bias to maintain objectivity, especially as some topics have become politically charged. He mentions diversity, equity, inclusion, and employee resource groups (ERGs) as examples where political motivations can influence discussions, making it essential for him to find a balanced, objective stance that avoids offending readers.

Overall, Andrew illustrates that writing textbooks involves more structure and discipline than authoring opinion books due to the need to provide objective, well-researched, and applicable content for an academic audience.

Leadership In The Age Of AI And The Quest For Authentic Inclusion

As the conversation draws to a close, Andrew identifies two primary challenges for leaders and managers in 2024:

#1 Artificial Intelligence And Job Displacement 

Andrew discusses the impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce, particularly on roles that can be automated. He stresses the importance of guiding employees through transitions to new roles AI cannot perform, such as customer-facing positions or more hands-on roles in different sectors. 

He uses a personal anecdote to illustrate the necessity of helping employees adapt to technological changes that replace traditional jobs.

#2 Balancing Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion (DEI) 

Andrew addresses the challenges of implementing DEI initiatives without alienating any group. He emphasizes the importance of fostering an inclusive environment that genuinely values diversity without being divisive. 

He criticizes extremist views that can polarize workplaces and undermine the very goals of DEI. Instead, he suggests focusing on the natural integration of diverse groups in the workplace, as seen in younger generations and successful organizations.

The discussion highlights the necessity of understanding and framing these challenges as obstacles and opportunities for creating more inclusive, efficient, and forward-thinking organizations. It also underscores the belief that diverse teams leveraging AI effectively can lead to higher performance and more innovative outcomes. 

Andrew, Aram, and Nolan discuss more on this episode of the NEGOTIATEx podcast. Write to us at team@negotiatex.com  and share your thoughts on this informational podcast episode. Also, if you enjoyed the episode, we’d be thrilled if you could rate us on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us grow and improve.

Thank you for your time!

Transcript

Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, thanks for joining us on the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Andrew DuBrin, professor and author. If you haven't already checked our part A of this show, be sure to do that first. Let's jump into the conversation with Andrew.

Aram Donigian : Going back to what you said about frequent communication, why is it that you just sense that so many leaders will communicate once oftentimes early. I think they get the timing correct, but then we don't see the follow-up. So it's the frequent piece, it's the repetitive messaging and staying on the narrative. Why does that often fall off that freaking communication?

Insights From Andrew DuBrin On The Importance of Follow-Up In Effective Leadership [01:20]

Andrew J. DuBrin : Why do people not follow up? I think just being somewhat neglectful and not having enough insight into human behavior that people have a great need for communication to close the loop. Some people don't recognize that. I've noticed that's particularly true like you deal with websites and it doesn't tell you, okay, you've done it correctly. You've done it correctly. Last night I was signing one of those Docusign and I couldn't figure out if it had gotten through, say, okay, thanks. It's okay.

But the idea is people need frequent communication and follow up to say, okay, here's what we said we're going to do. Here's where we are: a status report. People have a great need for closing the communication loop.

AD : Yeah, that's what I was just going to say, that feedback, right, Nolan, we talk about message sent does not equal message received, right?

AJD : That's good.

AD : Yeah, you got to come back and check that loop. That's really well said.

NM : So Andrew, what motivated you to write on topics like negotiations and conflict resolution, and how do you believe these skills contribute to effective leadership?

The Role Of Negotiation And Conflict Resolution In Leadership [02:34]

AJD : I checked this out. Going back to my earliest textbooks, I always had a chapter on the conflict including negotiation because it's such an important part of a leader or manager's job. I've read the same statistic, maybe it needs to be verified, but approximately 20% of a leader manager's time is spent resolving conflict and negotiation is so important. There's so many areas in which people negotiate, and I don't go to the extreme where people say, oh, we all negotiate every day all the time. No, that's not true.

But there's so many negotiations and also too, to have the understanding, a couple of things so many negotiators miss out on is to establish a positive negotiation climate. Time for an anecdote. Years ago, I was passed by a Cadillac lot and I always, a Cadillac dealership, but I always wanted a Cadillac and I drove in there. I saw this beautiful Cadillac at a price of a Chevrolet.

So I said, I know what I'm going to do. I wrote a check, I went back to the house, wrote a check, put it in an envelope, and I put it with masking tape, I put it on the door and I said, I would like to buy this car and here's a 1500, here's a $1,500 deposit. And I told my students about that. I said, you are crazy. But I went back the next day and they put a red tag on the Cadillac indicating that it was sold.

So it was a positive climb. In other words, I trusted them so much, I left a check on their door. That reinforced the idea that kind of planted the seed about how establishing a positive climate is so helpful for negotiation. So it's such a big part of a manager's job. For example, a person says, I want to work from home five days a week, and so, oh, time to negotiate. Why do you need to work from home five days a week?

So it's just and resolving conflict within the group, a central component of a leader and the manager's job. That's what got me interested in it. Also too, as I implied, I've always enjoyed negotiation for small things. I remember going back to my army days, I was in the United States Medical Service Corps and Brother-in-Law, a family member was the captain. He was a physician in the army. He had this 1953 Buick, and he comes in Del Paso, Texas, and he asked me, Hey, I'm so busy, could you sell this from us? I said, I'd love to, and I saw that for me, I'm like, wild price, like $250, and he was so happy. I said, I love doing this. It was so much fun selling a used car.

So, I always thought that was a very interesting, challenging part of life, but also in the central part of a leader manager's role.

AD : One of the sections in your textbook on negotiation and conflict resolution in organizations deals with the ethical aspect of negotiation. I'm curious how you advise others to apply key principles and influence in a way that is ethical and aligns with organizational values, yet still yields and delivers the very best results.

AJD : Well, you could follow principles like one principle. Don't insult, demean people and don't try to come up with a solution that will hurt the person in the long range. Then I think through this recently, and I look at recent union contracts and sometimes unions don't look at the dysfunctional consequences of their wins.

For example, the UAW crows about this fantastic contract we got. Well, what happens is that General Motors has to lay off people and other divisions to pay for it. So the ethics would be say, what dysfunctional consequences, what negative consequences do other people will happen if we get everything that we want? So that would be another way of looking at the ethics of negotiation.

AD : How do you help people see those second, third, or maybe even fourth or fifth order effects not obvious, and the key performance indicators that I'm going to be evaluated on those KPIs might be driving me just to get that quick immediate win. And yet, as you just said, right, that might lead to something that's problematic, even unethical. So how do we get people to look beyond the end of their nose?

Balancing Short-term Gains With Long-term Effects [07:15]

AJD : Well, I think you would have to sensitize people to try to find a difference between extreme self-interest and interest and try to take care of yourself and help other people sensitize people to the fact that that problem exists. Many negotiators, they just don't want to look at it. Now, for example, you keep demanding higher and higher minimum wage for people who deliver pizzas and other takeout food from trucks. They did that in California and most of those jobs disappear, and then people have to go to GrubHub and then pay 20, 30, 40% more for their meals and other people lose their jobs.

Yes, you've got that $25 an hour for the people who work for Pizza Hut, for example, but Pizza Hut franchisees can't afford that. So the jobs disappear, but to sensitize people to say, Hey, what are the negative consequences? Think through, do you want a long range gain where you have more people employed or do you want a short range gain where more people get a quick burst of income, but then many others lose their jobs? So sensitize people to look at that. I think you'd have to discuss that. Talk about it. Think about it.

NM : How important do you believe are concepts such as humility and emotional intelligence to one's ability to be an effective negotiator or an influencer?

The Power Of Humility And Emotional Intelligence In Negotiation [08:42]

AJD : Very important because number one, with the right amount of humility, you gain respect. Too much humility. People don't have respect for you. They say, oh, you're just a doormat. You're just trying to please people. You're a hypocrite. But since there's a natural human tendency to dislike arrogant people, so if you're a little bit humble in a negotiation or as a manager, that's very well liked and humility and what was the other concept?

NM : Emotional intelligence.

AJD : Oh, emotional intelligence. So important because negotiations won't work, management relationships won't work if you don't understand the mood, particularly in negotiation, for example, someone who's emotionally intelligent would look at the face of other people, see do they really want this or what do they want or how eager they are to size up people. Because since negotiation is such an emotional process to be understanding of the feelings of other people, how would they feel? So not to insult people and then know when not to throw a temper tantrum is part of emotional intelligence.

AD : Again, one of those things that feels obvious to state and sometimes feels so hard to practice both professionally and then personally. And I know you mentioned your daughter, right? With family, I know these principles are just as important in our personal lives as well.

AJD : And you look at some of the football games and some of these fellows, they lack good emotional intelligence. They just attack somebody and get penalized 10 yards and lose the game because they can't control their emotions. They grab the shirt of us, grab the mask, and they know that's not good. They cognitively know that, but their emotions take over. And I know it's very difficult, but if you're running down the field or 300 pounders coming at you.

AD : And there are negotiations in which it feels like a 300 pounder is bearing down on me.

AJD : Right. But even grabbing your coach.

AD : Right.

AJD : So that's just a dramatic example, but it could apply to the workplace too, not screaming at or, and especially being emotionally intelligent enough not to insult your boss in public.

AD : So, what do you see as the connection between critical thinking and innovation, especially with regards to your ability to lead a team through conflict?

Linking Critical Thinking And Innovation In Leadership [11:19]

AJD : Why critical thinking is so critical because you have to look at the situation, look at all the elements, say, what's the real problem here? Let's get a better definition of what problem we're dealing with. And someone says, well, look, we've got these horrible complaints about this product. I found three of them. And I'd say, well, let's look at more. That's just one person who is dissatisfied. Maybe 97% of people who aren't dissatisfied don't launch these complaints. So to critically examine it and then you have a problem, innovation is so important. What solution can we face? What solution can we come up with? What are some good alternatives?

AD : And that requires, as you said, a clear understanding of the problem. I mean, again, Nolan and I can tell you and your time in the military, I'm sure you saw the same thing. But even with corporate organizations, when we don't define the problem well and clearly understand it and maybe don't do the full due diligence, then innovation gets hurt because we're solving for the wrong problem.

AJD : There's a good example. There's a CEO of a woman who's a CEO of William Sonoma, and they have these fancy home furnishings, and the company wasn't doing well, and she took over a CEO and she looked at the problem and said, what we need is more of it. So she bought a few companies to have these fancy home furnishings, and the company's doing very well despite all the competition from discount stores, online store, online sales, she knew what to offer and pointed people in the right direction of the word company, failing critically thinking about what is our problem? We need to offer more of what our good stuff.

AD : So how does a leader get there? And I guess what I'm asking is we're saying that critical thinking innovation are important. You just gave a great example of bringing it to life in application. So what can leaders do to improve these aspects of their leadership?

Essential Practices For Effective Leadership [13:20]

AJD : One, take a course in leadership. But think about critical thinking critically. In other words, read about it. Think about it. What do I have to do to think critically? How do I have to come to a good solution? How can I unpeel this problem today? You talk about unpacking the problem or how do I look through the problem to stop the think, here's the problem that I heard about. What is the real problem to think through more carefully.

Some might say our turnover is quite high, and I don't think we're paying high enough salaries. And then yet say, yeah, that's a good idea. Let's boost salaries and we won't have much turnover, but why not look at it? Maybe comparable companies have the same kind of salaries and maybe it's time to look at the management practices. Are you being supportive of people? Are you being friendly? Are you being helpful? Are you giving guidance and feedback? That might be the problem. That might be the problem. Why the turnover is high, not the salary. If you looked at the situation and looked at comparable data, look at salary.com or something and see what other people are making in comparable positions.

AD : Yeah, Andrew, what I hear you saying is, one, you got to have your eyes towards metrics. They've got to be some objective criteria we're assessing ourselves by. And also the other thing I hear kind of implied in what you're saying is we've got to slow down the operations tempo enough to do this kind of reflection and really say, yeah, are we the effect or impact that we think we are? If I get so busy doing, I probably fail to kind of hit those things that you're saying we need to do.

AJD : Right. It takes a little more time to think critically and probably maybe another 10 minutes, but to really look through a problem.

AD : Yeah, another 10 minutes. So many folks say, oh, I don't have time for that. You're slowing the process down. Well, do you have time to fix it three times because you didn't do it right the first time, so.

NM : And I think what's important in what I've kind of experienced since I've gone out of the military is that leadership is an active trait that you continually have to work on. Sometimes I feel like in certain companies, they think that just a person's seniority, how long have they been in a position makes them a leader. And I don't think it does.

Even in my own personal company, I have very senior guys that aren't necessarily a leader. And so definitely taking a proactive approach to develop those traits is something all companies need to look at and all leaders need to look at.

AJD : Right, right.

AD : Oh, I wanted to respond. I wanted to respond to what you were just saying, Nolan, and get Andrew's take on this, but Jim Collins talks about level five leadership. And what I've always taken from that piece from Jim Collins is the idea that what may make someone successful at the level one doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to be a great level two leader or somebody who'd be really successful at level three may not have been that great at level two, but would be really successful at level three.

I guess, Andrew, based on what Nolan was sharing and this idea from Jim Collins, any reactions or responses to that?

Insights On Likability And Decision-Making [16:33]

AJD : Yes. Again, we get back to a higher level thinking at the higher level you go to be able to provide guidance, but there was an interesting study on likability and they took a lot of leadership studies and they put 'em together and they found out a unifying factor was likable. If people liked you, they would rate you higher on other leadership dimension. So not to forget that being likable is very important at any level, but then you have to think more creatively, more strategically as you move up the ladder. But on the other hand, retaining other key leadership traits such as being likable, agreeable, friendly, compassionate. And also too, I’m offering a good solutions to problem, but I recognize that you have to, as you move up in leadership responsibility, you have to make more tough decisions that people may not like, but they need to be made to have the courage to make tough decisions like we'll have to discontinue this product line because frankly, not enough people want it, even though it's our key product.

NM : There's so many books, podcasts out there these days on leadership and negotiation. Where do you go to stay updated on the latest developments and management to keep yourself and your work relevant?

Staying Informed And Relevant In Leadership and Management [17:51]

AJD : The number one source is the Wall Street Journal, and I'll explain why. Many of the articles in the Wall Street Journal are referred to a lot of studies done by professors and research, and so they collect the information. I'm not talking about the editorial, I'm talking about the articles. A very good source, and sometimes I'll see some work cited there, and then I'll go to the original work, Harvard Business View, still pretty good, but they become so politically motivated, they're always in awoke direction.

Everything is to them is the extreme woke approach. Not that it's always wrong, but they lose some of their objectivity while the Wall Street Journal, even though the articles aren't, they're written by journalists, they still refer to the work of professors, and I find they're so good on top of human resource trends, the Wall Street Journal, there's a lot of good information, the Harvard Business Review, and I also find that objective websites like Reuters, and to some extent Yahoo Finance is always some good information there.

And then I find that about 10% of the articles in the very professional Germans, like the Journal of Applied Psychology are of any of that 90% is just a bunch of silly stuff done to impress editors and impress a handful of professors who would be interested. And I'm not the only one who thought that other professors say, where have we gone? What has happened? What has happened to our journals? They're just so silly. And when I write these textbooks, I go through these articles and say, there must be someplace where this team of professors in this article say what it's about. You finally go to the conclusion. What is this about? So I find that for a regular source of useful information, the journals, I'd say maybe five to 10% of the articles would provide any insight that managers, professionals, leaders could use.

AD : Yeah, the Wall Street Journal was recommended several years back by a mentor, both myself and Nolan's. I'm a fan of HBR as well. You've written a number of textbooks, trade books. What are the challenges with writing a textbook around these topics?

And you've written a number, human resource management, negotiation, conflict resolution and others. Is it easier to write a textbook than it would be if you were just writing your own kind of opinion book and there's a lot of those out on these same topics, or does it require a little bit more structure and discipline to write a textbook?

Balancing Depth And Objectivity In Management Education [20:28]

AJD : A textbook, and why it's more work is because so much information has to be consolidated for every topic. There's so much published information, so you have to sort through it the way my approach is, do I try to go through all these journal articles and the Wall Street Journal articles and look for some, where are some nuggets of truth here, some nuggets of information that has some applied value? And then I try to think of what would possibly interest the students. You have two audiences. You have the professors, you have to interest the professors, and you have to interest the students to try to find a balance between the two. So it's a lot of work collecting all the information, but I enjoy it very much. It's like detective work for some good stuff.

AD : And then that ability to kind of take a lot, bring it down to what's the key pieces, and probably try your best to remove some of the bias, so it's somewhat objective for teaching purposes. That would be difficult.

AJD : And also too, you have the problem where a lot of topics have become very political hotspots and you have to try to take a balanced approach where all of a sudden there's a lot of political motivation built into things like diversity, equity, inclusion, and the ERG, and they become very debated and to try to find a position that would be objective but not be insulting to people.

AD : Kind of building off that point as we get kind of our final question here. As you think about the challenges you see emerging in the field of leadership, what final thoughts or advice might you give to aspiring managers as we sit here in 2024, about how they might prepare for and address these challenges they're going to see in their career?

Emerging Challenges In Leadership For 2024 [22:19]

AJD : I would say it was a great question. I love the question that you've sent me. I see two major challenges coming up that's going to affect managers and leaders at every level. One, artificial intelligence is replacing a lot of people and making tough decisions and helping people understand how to deal with this problem.

For example, there might be a lot of people who have minor administrative roles or what used to call clerical work support work and say, we don't need that anymore. How would you like to get into a customer contact position? How would you like to actually get out in the factory floor and make things a little less money, but you'd have a job? So to try to give people guidance to deal with that, to deal with their uncertainties, and already the layoffs have started because of artificial intelligence.

That's one big challenge to say, here are the tasks we'll need you to do. Here are the tasks we won't need you to do any longer. I remember in the early days of writing textbook, in the early days of computers, I no longer needed a typist. And I explained this woman, Lois. She said, but you’ll need me to type this, you'll need me to type this. I said, no, Lois, I'm using a computer for it. And she couldn't understand that, that she was being replaced by a personal computer.

And so, okay, today you're being replaced. A lot of work is being replaced by artificial intelligence, but here's the jobs we do have and here's what we need. Here's what we will need and help people. The other great big challenge is to try to find the right balance between diversity, equity, and inclusion. Because on the positive side, I think everybody, every sensible manager and leader wants to welcome people, wants to make people feel included, but they have to go soft on this divisive and confrontational attitude that may insult black people by telling them they're oppressed and insult white people by telling 'em the oppressor and insult the value system of people by saying merit no longer counts and math is no good because math is white supremacy and so is, and many, many black people don't believe that.

I mean, these are the extremists, and that's why so many of them are losing their jobs. It's because of the diversity. Some of the programs are bad, they're too divisive, but not, the idea of being inclusive and having a culturally diverse workforce is something that will stay with us. And I think it's natural to most people. Most I see young people, they're just so naturally working with other people.

And also, I don’t often recommend it, but I would recommend it to some of these people who are extremists in diversity, equity, inclusion. Why don't you go visit a Walmart and see someone who entered an African-American black guy, a woman who entered at 18 years old, work his or her way up as now is making $150,000 a year as a store manager and go into a clinic? I go to a clinic. I'm not their only white person.

It just happened to be that they reached out to connect with me, and I go in there. The physician is an African-American. The nurses are the lab technicians, and so it's very important to recognize all the progress people have made in a continuing, welcoming diversity. Don't get on the side of watch out for getting on the side of insulting people.

AD : With both of these topics, I think it's around framing, understanding that AI is with us. Obviously, there's the concern there that you highlighted. There may be an opportunity here too to create new jobs, different jobs, or to free me up to focus and do a better job in my current job by allowing AI to take some of these other more menial but important things off my plate.

And certainly with regards to DEI, we know, I mean, again, in 2024, I can't imagine a manager saying today that they don't understand that there is strength and diversity of background and experience and views and values and insights. And when I bring that diversity to bear on the teams I lead, and we're going to be spectacular. We know diverse teams outperform, homogeneous teams.

NM : Well, let me, Andrew, be the first to say. Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. Really enjoy all of your insights and everything, and then I'll go ahead and turn it over to Aram for final thoughts.

AD : Yeah, this has been fantastic. I really hope that folks will listen through the entire both part A and part B of this and just hear this has been a survey course in leadership, which is Andrew, it's why I reached out to you. You have such a broad and breadth of experiences and background in this topic. And just really thank you so much for sharing your insights with us.

AJD : Aram and Nolan, thanks so much for being here. It was a wonderful opportunity for me.

NM : Well, that is it for us on today's podcast. If you haven't already, please rate review and subscribe to NEGOTIATEx podcast and we'll see you in the next episode.

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