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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti


Newspaper Showdown in Boston

The Boston Globe has informed its unions it will close in 60 days unless its union agree to major cost cuts -- a not uncommon occurrence in the newspaper business these days. What advice would you offer to leaders of the paper and its unions about brinksmanship and winning at make-or-break negotiations?

Posted by Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein on May 4, 2009 11:35 AM
Marty Linsky

What's the Purpose?

Leadership in the union or management would be about having the courage to skillfully disappoint their own people on behalf of the more noble purpose of ensuring the long term survival of that crucial civic institution known as the Boston Globe.

Posted by Marty Linsky, on May 6, 2009 10:19 AM
Alan M. Webber

Costly Status Quo

The lesson we keep learning, as individuals, companies, industries, and perhaps a country, is that change isn't the real risk. Not changing is the real risk.

Posted by Alan M. Webber, on May 6, 2009 10:11 AM
Slade Gorton

Brass Tacks

The Times, with its own problems taking precedence, can't be forced to continue to pay for a bad bargain.

Posted by Slade Gorton, on May 5, 2009 3:28 PM
Norm R. Augustine

Never Bluff

This question has a short answer.

Posted by Norm R. Augustine, on May 5, 2009 3:25 PM
Andy Stern

Cool Heads, Creative Minds

We know these are tough times for America and for workers and companies. But this is where consultation, participation, and team work pays off.

Posted by Andy Stern, on May 5, 2009 3:21 PM
Ed Ruggero

Dangerous Brinksmanship

As with the Cuban Missile Crisis, so it is with The Boston Globe drama: If the parties indulge in ego-driven brinksmanship, where one side wants victory without concessions, chances are good they'll both fail.

Posted by Ed Ruggero, on May 5, 2009 11:57 AM
John H. Cochran, MD

"What Can We Create?"

Both sides need to re-position themselves from an attitude of "What I must have" to "Can we create a future for the company and its employees?"

Posted by John H. Cochran, MD, on May 5, 2009 10:26 AM
Michael Maccoby

Shared Sacrifice

The management could possibly scare the union into accepting its terms by threatening to close the paper. The result would be an angry and resentful staff.

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on May 5, 2009 10:05 AM
Pablo Eisenberg

Public Interest At Stake

Both sides need to be reminded of the significance of the negotiations. The public interest is at stake; an informed citizenry is the foundation of our democracy.

Posted by Pablo Eisenberg, on May 4, 2009 4:09 PM
Mickey Edwards

Painting Yourself Into a Corner

Although brinksmanship and ultimatums is sometimes successful -- as the record of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles shows -- patience, persistence and finding new options are better ways to proceed.

Posted by Mickey Edwards, on May 4, 2009 2:31 PM
Marshall Goldsmith

Radical Truth-Telling

My advice would be to forget about brinkmanship and other forms of game playing. Why not try acting like adults, telling the truth, making needed compromises and doing whatever can be done to keep the ship afloat?

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith, on May 4, 2009 2:26 PM
Deborah Kolb

Creativity, Not Threats

Make-or-break negotiations are not the sort that foster the collaboration or partnerships needed to deal with the serious underlying issues that the newspaper industry is currently facing.

Posted by Deborah Kolb, on May 4, 2009 2:18 PM

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IBCoaching: The last thing USA needs right now is for another corporation to close and lose even more jobs. It is necessary for The Boston Globe and al...

ThomasPaine3: These problems aappear to be self inflicted and representative of two factions fighting for the right to rearrange the deck furniture on the...

mediaskeptic: As I posted on the main news article, the Post is fixated on the problems with the Boston Globe while the Baltimore Sun is quietly crashing ...

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