September 22 was the Leadership Seminar for Leadership Napa Valley Class 31. In the morning, John Glaser presented on “Leading Through Collaboration.” This was a great introduction to negotiations and how to use collaborative negotiation strategies to reach an outcome that helps everyone. John advocates focusing on interests, not positions, so that you can get to the heart of what people want and avoid counterproductive posturing. This approach tends to create better outcomes for all parties and helps preserve relationships. John also shared a few “war stories” from his time as Superintendent of the Napa Valley Unified School District, which gave a real world feel to the negotiation theory he was teaching.
The class particularly enjoyed the mock negotiation that John led. In the negotiation, half the students played the role of university administrators and the other half were members of the student government. We had to work together to figure out how to address the dire financial situation of the university’s book store. In the end, there were a number of ideas and it’s safe to say the book store will keep running for years to come! It was great to see the different solutions people discovered when presented with the same problem, and our class definitely found some creative ways to make the bookstore prosper.
What impressed us most about John’s presentation was that he managed to impart so much knowledge, while still keeping things light and entertaining. He had a great feel for when to sprinkle in a cartoon or a clip from Golden Balls. (For those of you who have not seen “Golden Balls,” the British game show/short course in game theory, we highly recommend you watch here.)
After a delicious lunch from Foodshed, Jill introduced us to the practicum program and most of the afternoon was spent learning about the practicum program and getting to know our practicum groups. It was inspiring to see all of the great projects of past classes and Class 31 is ready and willing to carry on this legacy!
Submitted by members of Class 31: Lorna Barker & Quinn Arntsen, Gratitude Ambassadors.