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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

NFL: Let's make a deal?

At the center of the labor dispute between NFL owners and professional football players is George Cohen, a federal mediator known for his work in helping Major League Soccer come to a resolution over its own labor battles. Mediators have no power or authority to compel either side to do anything, but they still have the capability to influence the outcome in nuanced ways. What must Cohen do to bring the more uncompromising members of both sides together to make a deal?

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on March 8, 2011 9:48 AM
FROM THE PANEL
Robert Goodwin

Focus on the fans

George Cohen must provide constant reminders that what matters most to both the owners and the players is fan loyalty...

Posted by Robert Goodwin, on March 12, 2011 12:13 PM
Slade Gorton

Offering middle ground

George Cohen, unfortunately, will not see or speak to the most recalcitrant partisans on either side, but only with their selected representatives...

Posted by Slade Gorton, on March 9, 2011 4:56 PM

Cooler heads prevail

Cohen needs to continue a closed-door policy throughout the negotiations. Limiting leaks to the...

Posted by Rice University Undergraduate Leaders, on March 9, 2011 4:50 PM

Helping both sides manage loss

The resistance to a new NFL contract comes from the threat or reality of loss...

Posted by Marty Linsky, on March 9, 2011 12:00 PM

Separating egos from the issue

In tough and emotional negotiations, a mediator must initially work hard to find mutual...

Posted by West Point Cadets, on March 9, 2011 11:52 AM

Mediating between players and owners

In the case of the NFL, neither party seems to be thinking about the fans and each seems aware of the other's thinking which is all about getting a bigger piece of the pie...

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on March 8, 2011 8:18 PM
Katherine Tyler Scott

The negotiation process

he most important thing a great negotiator must do is establish a process that will determine how the parties can...

Posted by Katherine Tyler Scott, on March 8, 2011 8:06 PM
Carol Kinsey Goman

How a mediator should look

In American society, eye contact is important for persuasion and communication. The rule of thumb is to look at the person who is speaking until...

Posted by Carol Kinsey Goman, on March 8, 2011 2:59 PM

Reason, incentives and coercion

This I learned the hard way--very hard!--as director of President Reagan's arms control agency negotiating nuclear weapons cuts with the Soviets in the 1980s...

Posted by Ken Adelman, on March 8, 2011 2:53 PM

Show some care for the average fan

The difference in net worth between owners, players and the average person in this country is greater than it has ever been...

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith, on March 8, 2011 10:20 AM

Getting real about what's at stake

Nowhere on the planet is so much energy being expended when so little is at stake...

Posted by John Baldoni, on March 8, 2011 10:14 AM

How Cohen can influence the process

Failure to come to agreement will likely be extremely costly for both sides--my guess is he will remind them of that frequently...

Posted by Deborah Kolb, on March 8, 2011 10:10 AM

Deal or no deal?

The owners perceive players as disrespectful and entitled. The players view the owners as greedy and unsympathetic to the long-term risks of playing professional football...

Posted by Coro Fellows, on March 8, 2011 7:40 AM

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