news2use | June 2021

A farmer posted a sign on his vacant piece of land next to his home. It read:





A wealthy merchant from the village stopped to read the sign and said to himself, “Since this farmer is so ready to part with this plot of land, I might as well claim it before someone else does. I am a rich man and have all I need, so I certainly qualify.”


With that he went up to the door and explained what he was there for.


“And are you truly satisfied?” the farmer asked.


“I am indeed, for I have everything I need,” replied the merchant.


“Friend,” said the farmer, “if you are satisfied, what do you want the land for?”


This merchant’s actions (I want that land) did not align with his language (I have everything I need).


The degree of alignment between our language and our actions is fundamental to effective leadership. At the end of the day, people do not do what we say, they do what we do.


How are you ensuring that your language and actions are aligned?


Enjoy your June news2use.




“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”

For You

A well-intentioned leader recently said to me, “I always go for win-win situations, no matter what the other party is doing”.

“That is a big mistake”, I said.

Win-Win Negotiating, developed by Harvard Law School professor Roger Fisher and anthropologist and negotiation expert William Ury introduced (initially) four principles to this approach in their book, “Getting to Yes”.

These principles included, 1) separating people from the problem, 2) focusing on interests, not positions, 3) creating options, and 4) insisting on objective criteria. These principles are tough to do, yet they work and lead to better negotiated outcomes WHEN both (or all parties) are committed to a trusting and collaborative approach to managing differences.

This is the problem that I mentioned.

If Win-Win is your default function, and you continue to push these negotiation practices when the other party is looking only to do the best deal for them, you will get slaughtered on the negotiation table.

Paying attention to what the other party does, not only what they say, helps you determine whether or not you have a win-win opportunity in front of you. Here are five signs that your partner offers you a win-win approach:

  1. Shows an interest in your desires and needs instead of anchoring in their own position
  2. Looks to create common ground that parties can build on instead of highlighting the gaps in a potential agreement
  3. Able and willing to discuss multiple issues at one time instead of slicing away (and seeking to win for themselves) one point at a time
  4. Shares abundantly (yet appropriately) information that all parties can use to create a mutually beneficial outcome for everyone involved
  5. Uses open-ended questions instead of trying to box you in with closed questions

A Win-Win negotiation is not a soft approach, in fact it is difficult, yet achievable to do. Nevertheless, remember it takes “two to tango” meaning you need to be sure that you are both negotiating with the same practices in mind. Let me know if I can be a sparring partner for one of your upcoming situations, and by all means, we can negotiate fees that are win-win.

For You & Your Team

“What’s the phrase or object that describes your leadership team,” I recently asked.

The leader I asked sat and looked at me thoughtfully, and then responded, “A dirty windshield.”

“A dirty windshield, “I countered. “What is the connection to a dirty windshield?”

“Our team is like a dirty windshield because it shows that we have been on a journey, as evidenced by the dirt and bugs on the glass. A clean windshield means that a team has spent too much time in the garage, not out fulfilling its purpose”.

It was one of the most vivid and unusual responses I had ever heard, and one I will not soon forget.

How about your leadership team, would you describe it as a dirty windshield,

full of bugs and dirt, showing you have been on a journey, or is it clean from

spending too much time parked in the garage?

For You, Your Team & Your Business

Nearly all leaders will, at some point, take over or inherit a leadership team with members in place. What advice can you offer to leaders to help them decide whether or not to replace members of the leadership team?

Consider the “filter five” to help leaders work this very difficult, yet important process, when evaluating leadership team members for the future mission ahead:

  1. How and to what degree will this leader contribute to the future success of the business? (1 is very low and 10 is very high.)
  2. How well do they engage others to play at their best? (1 to 10)
  3. How well have they led change in the past and are they avatars of continuous improvement? (1 to 10)
  4. What kind of results does this leader create in the organization? (1 is very little and 10 would be very high.)
  5. Would I want to compete head-to-head with this person if they were to leave our business? (1 is I would not mind at all and 10 is I would be concerned to see this talent at one of our competitors.)

These are the filters I offer to an incoming leader looking at who should stay and who should go.

What additional ideas do you have to manage this challenging situation?

People, Places & Technology

Thanks for the generous feedback regarding the “Norenberg’s Ninety Seconds” video clips that are posted weekly on LinkedIn. Many have asked how to get previous episodes, or newly released episodes. I will post past and ongoing episodes on my YouTube page and if you subscribe and tap the notification bell, you will be notified when a new episode is posted.

Several of you mentioned that you are using these short clips to dig deeper into the specific situation that I highlighted or using the 90 seconds scenes to springboard into your own challenging leadership and team situations – all good ideas! If you are struggling with a challenging situation, and would like me to address it in a “Norenberg’s 90 Seconds” (anonymously of course), feel free to call or sketch out your situation for me.

Thought for the Day

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance,

the wise grows it under his feet.

-James Oppenheim


Contact Information

Dan Norenberg
Wensauerplatz 11
81245 Munich
Phone: +49 172 862 5123

About Dan Norenberg

Dan Norenberg improves leadership performance and organization results through Executive Ownershift®, his transformational growth process for executive teams. As a trusted advisor, consultant and professional speaker, Dan’s mission is to enable executive teams and their organizations to play at their best.