If you are a “leader” in any sense of the word, the ideas, stories, and quotes that follow will help you tame ornery problems, build agreements, and facilitate changes in new and better ways. You can use this book when you are negotiating considerations, calming frictions, mending fences, building bridges, or trying to inspire cooperation. You can use it as a general reference. You can scan the table of contents, find what is relevant or what interests you, jump around, read it backwards, or start in the middle. ...
If you are a “leader” in any sense of the word, the ideas, stories, and quotes that follow will help you tame ornery problems, build agreements, and facilitate changes in new and better ways. You can use this book when you are negotiating considerations, calming frictions, mending fences, building bridges, or trying to inspire cooperation. You can use it as a general reference. You can scan the table of contents, find what is relevant or what interests you, jump around, read it backwards, or start in the middle. Most of all, you can use it when some specific conflict is “incoming” on your personal radar screen.
In the vast galaxy of leadership practices, the 150 ideas that follow focus on making deals, brokering agreements, and managing the inevitable conflicts that occur in politically charged circumstances. They are about communication, negotiation, problem solving, and “guerilla peace making.” The premise is simple and was best stated by philosopher, psychologist, and educator John Dewey: “Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity and sets us at noting and contriving."
The book is also about politics. Leadership and politics go hand-in-hand. Politics has been variously defined as war without bloodshed (Mao Tse Tung), the continuation of politics by other means (Carl von Clausewitz), the conduct of public affairs for private advantage (Ambrose Bierce), and the art of looking for trouble and applying the wrong remedy to it (Earnest Benn). The word itself comes from the Greek “polis” meaning the city, state, or collective. It is all about all of us….together. At its core, politics is the business of making difficult choices about the transfer of power, rights, assets, liabilities, and obligations. Politics drives decisions on who gets what, for what purposes, and under what conditions. It is also more obliquely about being “politic,” which could mean that you are judicious, tactful, and sagacious or, depending on context and intent, conniving, unscrupulous, and cunning. I prefer the first set of definitions. It is time to try to restore the word to a better place.
Eye of the Storm Leadership is a beautiful book that creeps up on you. I read it in Islamabad, Pakistan where new approaches to conflict resolution and peace-creating are direly needed. They are needed all over the world, but in the high conflict situation that is Pakistan today, this book gives us wise counsel. There are case studies and wise sayings and behind it all, a clear methodology and theory of peace making. Adler’s words can help us through the challenging times ahead.
Provocative and challenging, Peter Adler's "Eye of the Storm" utilizes everyday situations and international crisises to stimulate our thinking and to explore new ways of creating resolution. Each of the 15 chapters is broken down into 10 sections with stories, quotes, and exercises which push us, encourage us, and occasionally chastise us to look beyond our complacency and demand the very best of ourselves as conflict resolvers.
Humans feel excitement when they are involved in conflict. We couldn’t have gotten where we are without it. So, when we set out to resolve a conflict we are asking folks to give up something they love and may even be addicted to. We ask them to forgo the excitement in exchange for stability and security –- nice indeed, but boring. Adler offers a large tool kit for that task. I liken it to a cookbook. Read it in bites. Adjust seasonings to taste.
This book digs about as deep as you can go into the politics of leadership, while maintaining a simple and easy to navigate approach. It takes the static approach to problem solving and demonstrates dynamic models through the use of exceptional anecdotes and stories. Each segment of the book is so thought provoking that an entire class could be presented on the subject. Bravo to Peter Adler for bringing this little gem to our community.
Eye of the Storm Leadership proves to be a most insightful guide to addressing a host of challenging problems confronting both organizations and citizens. What emerges provides hope that reason and emotion, political argument, and consensus can be mobilized for the greater good. At a time when all major institutions face challenges of authority and credibility, Peter Adler adds a fresh perspective for recapturing the vital center.