One of the people who has most influenced my understanding and practice of leadership is Dr. Jim Osterhaus. Case in point: one can survive so-called middle management by understanding a concept that Jim introduced me to (via Ron Heifetz): leading without authority.
Osterhaus’s Thriving Through Ministry Conflict, co-authored with Todd Hahn and Joe Jurkowski, offers some of the most practical advice I’ve ever read or heard on how to deal with conflict.
Drawing on the same “red zone” and “blue zone” distinction, a new book from Osterhaus, Jurkowski, and Hahn is due soon: Red Zone, Blue Zone: Turning Conflict into Opportunity. Here is the publisher’s description:
Most of us fear and dread conflict, at home or at work. But conflict can be your ally, not your enemy. Conflict doesn’t have to tear your family or organization apart.
Using the story of a family business leader embroiled in generational conflict, Red Zone, Blue Zone shows how to navigate conflict in a way that is healthy and leads to enhanced relationships, self-awareness, and greater leadership success. Practical response activities and personal reflection questions help the reader understand the sources of conflict, have a working command of conflict navigation principles, and be equipped to help others navigate conflict in their own lives.
You can find the book on Amazon, or at the publisher’s page linked above.
If you now find yourself or ever have found yourself in vexing conflict situations (i.e., if you are human), you should check this book out as soon as you can.