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Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer: Managing for Conflict and Consensus, Second Edition

Book Description

Make better decisions! Michael A. Roberto will help you achieve deeper consensus, get past groupthink and "yes men," and achieve superior results in every decision you make -- especially your most complex and highest-stakes decisions! Roberto's Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer, Second Edition gives you a powerful framework for promoting honest, constructive dissent and skepticism; test your assumptions; more thoroughly and fairly considering "best alternatives"; crisply coming to closure; and aligning your entire organization behind the decision you make.

In this new edition, Roberto presents new cases from Google, Ford, and Intuit, and expands coverage to more deeply illuminate his decision-making approach. Offering both positive and negative examples, he presents a well rounded view of how to determine when 'yes' means 'yes', when it doesn't, and what to do when it doesn't. Throughout, Roberto demonstrates why "good process entails the astute management of the social, political and emotional aspects of decision making" -- in other words, why effective leaders are well served by carefully "deciding how to decide." You'll learn how to: 

  • Test and probe what your team really believes, and get the truth and candor you really need

  • Encourage constructive objections -- and keep them constructive

  • Improve team management, mitigate risk, identify opportunities, and promote integrity

  • Build stronger commitment amongst the people who'll implement your decisions

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication Page
    4. Contents
    5. Acknowledgments
    6. About the Author
    7. Preface
      1. The Research
      2. The Outline of This Book
      3. Endnotes
    8. 1. The Leadership Challenge
      1. Conflict and Consensus
      2. Decision-Making Myths
      3. Managing Reality
      4. The Absence of Dissent
      5. Tragedy on Everest
      6. The Perils of Conflict and Dissent
      7. Why Is This So Difficult?
      8. A Deeper Explanation
      9. Endnotes
    9. 2. Deciding How to Decide
      1. Managerial Levers
      2. The Power to Learn
      3. The Prepared Mind
      4. Endnotes
    10. 3. An Absence of Candor
      1. Columbia’s Final Mission
      2. Hard Versus Soft Barriers
      3. Leadership Matters
      4. Endnotes
    11. 4. Stimulating the Clash of Ideas
      1. Caufield’s Story
      2. Pulling All the Right Levers
      3. The Leader’s Toolkit
      4. “Watch Out” Situations
      5. Practice Makes Perfect
      6. Endnotes
    12. 5. Keeping Conflict Constructive
      1. Diagnosing the Debate
      2. Affective Conflict
      3. Curbing Affective Conflict
      4. Building a Capability
      5. Freedom and Control
      6. Endnotes
    13. 6. A Better Devil’s Advocate
      1. The Devil’s Advocate in Business
      2. Inspiring Divergent Thinking
      3. The Broken Record
      4. Endnotes
    14. 7. The Dynamics of Indecision
      1. A Culture of Indecision
      2. The Origins of Indecisive Cultures
      3. Endnotes
    15. 8. Fair and Legitimate Process
      1. Fair Process
      2. Legitimate Process
      3. Giving People Voice
      4. The Misalignment Problem
      5. Communicating Intent
      6. Teaching Good Process
      7. What About Conflict?
      8. Endnotes
    16. 9. Reaching Closure
      1. Divergence and Convergence
      2. The Psychology of Small Wins
      3. The 1983 Social Security Crisis
      4. Types of Intermediate Agreements
      5. Shifting into Decision Mode
      6. Sustaining Closure
      7. The Importance of Trust
      8. Endnotes
    17. 10. Leading with Restraint
      1. What Type of Leaders?
      2. The Myth of the Lone Warrior
      3. Two Forms of Taking Charge
      4. Leading with Restraint
      5. Questions, Not Answers
      6. Endnotes
    18. Index