Teaching Critical Leadership Skills

By — on / Teaching Negotiation

ethical leadership and Effective Leadership as portrayed by people standing on a rock with their fists in the air Participative Leadership

Running a multinational corporation, starting a small business, or leading a diplomatic mission all require critical leadership skills. Being an effective leader necessitates negotiating both within your organization and with external partners. In Real Leaders Negotiate, author Jeswald Salacuse explains that leaders can increase their effectiveness by using negotiation in each of the three phases of the leadership lifecycle: leadership attainment, action, and leadership preservation. Being a skilled negotiator is critical for exercising leadership. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has a wide variety of negotiation role play simulations to help students develop critical leadership skills:

Browning Brothers Search – Featured Leadership and Negotiation Simulation

This two-hour, five or six-person, nonscorable negotiation is between search committee members asked to reach consensus on characteristics needed for a new leader to right a financial company in crisis. Browning Brothers’ CEO was recently fired because of financial and legal irregularities that threw the company into a dire situation where its very existence is in jeopardy. At the initial meeting the search committee explores the nature of leadership and aims to reach consensus on the kind of leader the company needs to survive, and reports its findings to the full board. Major lessons of this simulation include:

  • Effective leadership, rather than being a personal quality that resides only in certain individuals, is dependent on the organizational context, the organization’s needs at a given moment, and whether a potential leader has the skills to meet those needs.
  • Negotiation is a crucially important skill for any leader. How leaders negotiate determines in large measure their ability to achieve organizational success.
  • Effective organizational leadership requires skill at conducting multilateral negotiations and effective coalition building.

Download a free preview copy of the Browning Brothers Search Teacher’s Package to learn more about this simulation.

Aerospace Investment – Featured Leadership and Negotiation Simulation

This two-hour, two-party, scoreable negotiation is between a venture capitalist and the founder of an aerospace start-up company in which participants are scored both on their substantive performance and on the other party’s perception of how the relationship evolved during their negotiations. The venture capital firm Aerovent Capital is considering a $100 million investment in the startup company Earth Escape. The founder of Earth Escape and the lead partner from Aerovent Capital must negotiate a term sheet outlining eight significant terms of their deal. Both parties want to structure a deal that protects their substantive interests while creating a positive foundation for their potential collaboration. Major lessons include:

  • Integrative negotiation and collaborative problem solving are important when long term relationships are at stake.
  • Relationship dynamics must be consciously managed.
  • A deal must reflect each “side’s” carefully considered Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).

Download a free preview copy of the Aerospace Investment Teacher’s Package to learn more about this simulation.

MedLee – Featured Leadership and Negotiation Simulation

This three-hour, two-party, nonscorable, multi-issue negotiation is between representatives of two companies with different national and corporate cultures regarding a possible joint venture. MedDevice, a U.S.-based Fortune 500 company that manufactures high technology medical equipment, and Lee Medical Supply, a small Thailand-based company that distributes medical equipment in Southeast Asia, seek to conclude a joint venture. The venture, to be named MedLee, Ltd., will include a Bangkok sales office that distributes MedDevice brand medical equipment. The CEOs have met and signed a Memorandum of Understanding. They have now instructed their subordinates (Pat Armstrong, the Director of International Strategic Market Research at MedDevice, and T.S. Lee, the Vice President and son/daughter of the owner of Lee Medical Supply) to conduct the next round of negotiations on four key issues: decision- making authority, staffing, profit distribution, and possible conflict resolution mechanisms. MedDevice and Lee Medical Supply differ greatly in their corporate cultures, which are shaped by their national cultures and the demands of their respective industries. MedDevice, a publicly traded company in a highly regulated industry, is rule-oriented, efficient, structured, data driven, and merit-based. Lee Medical Supply, a family-owned and operated company, places a high value on relationships and family loyalty, and favors informal consensus arrangements over rules. The respective negotiators must develop a way for companies with such divergent cultures to work together. Major lessons include:

  • Handling the challenges involved in preparing for and conducting cross-cultural negotiations;
  • Recognizing and dealing with divergent assumptions and perspectives;
  • Bridging cultural differences and communicating effectively across cultures; and
  • Handling principal-agent tensions.

Download a free preview copy of the MedLee Teacher’s Package to learn more about this simulation.

Camp Lemonnier – Featured Leadership and Negotiation Simulation

This two-party, three hour, nonscorable negotiation is between the U.S. Defense Attaché and the Djiboutian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs over the potential lease renewal for a key strategic military base. Camp Lemonnier is a United States Naval Expeditionary Base located in Djibouti and is the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa. Djibouti, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, has been home to Camp Lemonnier since the September 11, 2001 attacks prompted the United States to seek a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines in the region. Since then, Camp Lemonnier has expanded to nearly 500 acres and is a base of unparalleled importance. The 2014 negotiations between the U.S and Djibouti over the lease renewal for Camp Lemonnier were complex and involved national security, public relations, and economic development issues. Major lessons of this simulation include:

  • The importance of understanding the BATNA of all parties in a negotiation.
  • The impact of culture in negotiation.
  • Process management and agenda setting.
  • Principal-agent dynamics.
  • Uncovering sources of power in negotiation.

Download a free preview copy of the Camp Lemonnier Teacher’s Package to learn more about this simulation.

In addition to these simulations, we recommend you also check out the following books for further reading about leadership and negotiation:

Entrepreneurial Negotiation: Understanding and Managing the Relationships that Determine Your Entrepreneurial Success, by Samuel Dinnar and Lawrence Susskind, Palgrave McMillan, 2018.

Real Leaders Negotiate: Gaining, Using, and Keeping the Power to Lead Through Negotiation, by Jeswald Salacuse, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.


Take your training to the next level with the TNRC

The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center offers a wide range of effective teaching materials, including

TNRC negotiation exercises and teaching materials are designed for educational purposes. They are used in college classroom settings or corporate training settings; used by mediators and facilitators seeking to introduce their clients to a process or issue; and used by individuals who want to enhance their negotiation skills and knowledge.

Negotiation exercises and role-play simulations introduce participants to new negotiation and dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies. Our videos, books, case studies, and periodicals are also a helpful way of introducing students to key concepts while addressing the theory and practice of negotiation.

Check out all that the TNRC has in store >> 

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