Are You Having A Nice Conflict?

For a long while, I held off buying a much-desired iPad2 – I finally gave in over the Christmas holidays and bought one. I also held off on becoming an e-reader until that time – and now, I’m glad to say, I have finally read my first book cover-to-cover on a tablet! What can I say – sometimes I break with the past slowwwwly…

The book: Have A Nice Conflict, put out by Jossey-Bass. Disclosure: this group has also stepped up to be a sponsor for LeadershipChat last week, in our chat with Angela Maiers, and also this coming Tuesday, when the smart team of HANC thinkers will be our guest hosts.

The book is a relatively quick read. It is of the business parable genre, where a story unfolds with various fictional characters to explain and illustrate the themes. Now, business parables are not my favorite writing mode, but this one is reasonably well-written. It’s just a wee bit slow out of the blocks, but once you arrive on the stage with Mac and the Red, Green, and Blue lights – well, things start to really fall into place. I won’t say that the lights come on, because that would be a bad pun. So I won’t say it. But they do.

One big plus – toward the back of the book, once the parable is over, you get a nice overview of the academic foundations of the theory.

The thesis of Have A Nice Conflict – and a component of the SDI (Strength Deployment Inventory), which is a related assessment – is that we have different motivational “styles”, if you will, that come into play when we approach (or experience) conflict. After taking the SDI and reading the book, I can definitely affirm that there’s some solid stuff here (I’m a “Hub,” by the way, if you’re interested).

Conflict is a huge, somewhat hidden cost to businesses everywhere, and a major challenge for leaders. So we’re going to discuss it this coming Tuesday night (February 14th) on #LeadershipChat. Valentine’s Day is a great time to learn to avoid or manage conflict, right? :>}

Join me, my co-host Lisa Petrilli, the HANC team, and a bunch of other smarties worldwide at 8 pm ET for an enlightening Twitter chat. Just use the hashtag #LeadershipChat (you’ll also see the hashtag #NiceConflict because our guests are also our sponsors this coming week).

Also, be sure to follow LeadershipChat on Facebook!

Additional disclosure: Personal Strengths is a recommendation partner of mine. If you use their assessment/consulting services as a direct result of my personal business matchmaking recommendation, they gladly pay me a referral fee. I receive no affiliate payments for book sales.

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Hire Steve Woodruff  if your identity and message need clarity (Brand Therapy)

Recent posts on Connection Agent:

>> Who Are Your Influencers?

>> Passion Matters

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Twitter: @swoodruff

Passion Matters

When I think of Angela Maiers, I think of one word. Passion.

She’s a passionate educator. A passionate blogger. And, this Tuesday night (Feb 7th) on LeadershipChat, Angela will be talking about a core passion of hers. #YouMatter.

Simply put, YouMatter is Angela’s summary of a conviction deep in her DNA – that a sense of significance is central to our well-being and growth.

Since it’s really not possible to replicate Angela’s passion in a second-hand blog post, I’d urge you to watch this video – or if you can’t afford the 20 minutes to watch, listen to it in the background as you (try to) do other things.

There’s a lot to chew on here for leaders and aspiring leaders. The thing is, people will forgive a lot of mistakes. But if they don’t sense that they are valued contributors, they’ll find greener pastures elsewhere (see my co-host Lisa Petrilli‘s perspective here!). I’ve been in settings where YouDon’tMatter. Should have packed up and left more quickly than I did!

LeadershipChat is a weekly Twitter discussion where smart minds come to share and learn – and this week, we are honored to have our first corporate sponsor. The fine folks who authored the new book Have a Nice Conflict (Tim Scudder, Michael Patterson and Kent Mitchell) will be joining us at Leadership Chat this week and next as chat sponors! They’ve written a very interesting road map for better understanding and navigating conflict, and for using this knowledge to be a more effective and successful leader. Check it out and buy your copy.

Also, be sure to follow LeadershipChat on Facebook!

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Hire Steve Woodruff  if your identity and message need clarity (Brand Therapy)

Recent posts on Connection Agent:

>> Who Are Your Influencers?

>> Caribbean Connections

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Twitter: @swoodruff

Caribbean Connections

Ever heard of Digicel? Yeah, me neither – until a few weeks ago. When my eyeballs were saturated with their branding.

Upon landing in Haiti, I was surrounded, not only by a sea of people, but by an ocean of red Digicel signs. They are a company run by an Irish entrepreneur, who targeted Jamaica and other Caribbean islands (and has now expanded outward). You will look in vain to find much reference to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in Haiti. But you can hardly look anywhere without seeing Digicel branding. Day or night.

Digicel painted on walls. Digicel T-shirts. Digicel sun-umbrellas lining almost every street. I saw red all week.

While we, here in the first-world, have now turned to on-line/social as the new ubiquitous, Digicel knows its market. Ubiquitous is being on every wall, every sign, every visual. It may seem old-school, but it works. There are a couple of other cell providers in Haiti, but after a week there, only one stands out. Digicel.

One of my reference points for a mission house we went to several times was a couple of Digicel signs painted on a seawall. There was no escaping their presence.

And, even in the poorest of countries, cellphones are becoming common currency. When we ran a generator to power a circular saw, the workers plugged their phones in to recharge. Having money to buy new minutes was a big deal. Clearly, Digicel has latched onto a money-making service, even in the poorest of environments. A lesson for us all, when we think there is a lack of opportunity.

I’m sure there are many other brands operating in Haiti and the surrounding islands. But the major one I’ll always connect with Haiti is Digicel. I don’t know if I’ve seen such saturation before. Not bad for a company I’d never heard of!

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Hire Steve Woodruff  if your identity and message need clarity (Brand Therapy)

Recent posts on Connection Agent:

>> Out of my Comfort Zone

>> Not All Business is Good Business

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Twitter: @swoodruff

Out of my Comfort Zone: Haiti

As many of you know, I recently went on a mission trip to Haiti (small team from my local church). My role was to help one of my long-time friends with a building project – topping off the walls of a partially-constructed church building and putting up a roof on it.

The trip was an amazing privilege, and the whole adventure was WAY outside my comfort zone! Nonetheless, it was a fulfilling and eye-opening experience.

I thought I’d share some of the pictures I took of the country, its people, and the project. Here is the photo set on Flickr. If you scroll through, you’ll see the captions; you can also view it in slideshow mode.

Pictures, and words, can’t do justice to the experience. But maybe they’ll give you a glimpse of a nation and a people far more in need than we are here in the “first world”.

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Hire Steve Woodruff  if your identity and message need clarity (Brand Therapy)

Recent posts on Connection Agent:

>> Who Are Your Influencers?

>> Not All Business is Good Business

Please feel free to subscribe to the Connection Agent blog via Reader (RSS) | via e-mail

Twitter: @swoodruff