Effective leaders are adept at resolving conflicts and managing work groups.
If you’d like to hone your skills in either of these areas, check out the new videos available on the website of Skaneateles resident Kenneth A. “Buzz” Shaw, chancellor emeritus of Syracuse University. They can be found at http://whitman.syr.edu/shaw.
“These are two of the most important skills to learn—no leader can be effective without them,” says Shaw, who has spent more than 30 years studying, practicing and writing about leadership. Shaw is now a University Professor at SU and teaches leadership to both undergraduate and graduate students.
The videos, which are unrehearsed and unedited, contain scenarios acted out by Shaw’s graduate students.
In the conflict resolution videos, Shaw outlines a four-step approach to conflict resolution and introduces six conflicts:
• Two graphic artists working in adjoining cubicles meet with their supervisor to discuss one’s playing of loud reggae music, which the other finds distracting.
• An advertising professional has been offered the job of his dreams in Chicago. His partner loves her current job and doesn’t want to relocate.
• Members of a newspaper’s editorial board reach an impasse over whether to publish a controversial cartoon.
• A college student home on break negotiates with her parents to lift her curfew.
• A salesperson, who believes he is making less than his colleagues, asks his boss for a raise.
• Two roommates—one pre-med, the other a partyer—meet with their residence hall supervisor to discuss their conflicting needs.
In the three mock group videos:
• Group members get acquainted, review their class assignment, agree on ground rules for future meetings and identify a process to select their project.
• A project has been chosen, and members of the team have presented their plans prior to the meeting. At the meeting, conflicts arise over deadlines, the quality of work completed and uncertainty about what’s required.
• The group brainstorms ideas for a marketing plan.
The videos are a companion to the 2009 supplement to “The Intentional Leader” due out Dec. 1 from Syracuse University Press. “The Intentional Leader,” which is often used as a college text, has sold more than 2,200 copies since its publication in 2005.
Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw served as a campus or system president for 27 years at Southern Illinois University, the University of Wisconsin System and Syracuse University, where he spent his last 13 years as a university leader. He has consulted with numerous educational, governmental, and private-sector profit and nonprofit organizations and currently serves on a number of such boards.
The recipient of eight honorary degrees, Shaw was recognized by authors Fisher and Koch as one of the nation’s top entrepreneurial presidents in their most recent book on the subject. He is a 2008 Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the state’s highest honor.
Shaw authored “The Successful President: ‘Buzzwords’ on Leadership” (American Council on Education/Oryx Press, 1999) and “The Intentional Leader” (Syracuse University Press, 2005), as well as more than 40 articles and book chapters on leadership and issues in higher education.
He currently serves as Chancellor Emeritus and University Professor at Syracuse University, where he teaches leadership to graduate and undergraduate students and just about anyone else who is interested.
He and his wife, Mary Ann, have three children and seven grandchildren and reside in Skaneateles, N.Y.