Each week GGC Principal Gail Golden lets us take a look at her open tabs to see what’s going on in the world of workplace psychology. Here are her insights on the week’s news….

This week I thought I’d let my colleagues answer two pressing management questions. The first comes from Molex CEO Martin Slark, who spoke to the Executives’ Club of Chicago last week. The key responsibility of a business leader is to create value for the company and the customers he or she serves. And how do you create that value? According to Slark, there are four essential elements:

  • a foundation of integrity
  • clear vision
  • a focus on satisfying customers’ desires
  • creative destruction

Slark pointed to three companies as examples of creative destruction. The world’s largest transportation company owns no vehicles (Uber). The world’s largest hospitality company owns no properties (Airbnb). And the world’s largest retail company owns no stores (Amazon). By providing value to their customers, these businesses have built a new world!

Mary Helenbrook, a professional mediator and arbitrator, tackled the thorny issue of successful negotiation. We got her to share a few secrets with us that any business leader can use in navigating a conflict:

  • If your message isn’t getting through, find a different way to say it.
  • Look for the key opinion leaders on both sides of the conflict and focus on influencing them.
  • Remember, it’s easier to build a wall than a bridge. Negotiating is hard work.
  • When you get stuck, take a pause. Go get a cup of coffee.
  • Use gentle humor to defuse the tension.

My tip for you? Seek out the smartest people on a topic, and always take the opportunity to listen to them.

For last week’s workplace news roundup, featuring corporate social responsibility, please see Gail’s post on LinkedIn.

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