Lord Simon McDonald spent over four decades in HM Diplomatic Service. Sir Simon joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1982 and served in Berlin, Jeddah, Riyadh, Bonn, Washington, and Tel Aviv, and in a wide range of jobs in London. He served as the British Ambassador to Berlin from 2010 to 2015. He was the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Adviser and Head of Foreign and Defence Policy in the Cabinet Office from 2007 to 2010. From 2003 to 2006 he was British Ambassador to Israel. His government career culminated with him being Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, and Head of the UK’s Diplomatic Service. He is Master of Christ’s College, Cambridge. In his first book, Leadership: Lessons from a Life in Diplomacy, Lord Simon McDonald shares his observations from working in close quarters with ministers, diplomats and leaders – on some of the most complex issues faced by our world. In this interview, I speak to Lord Simon McDonald, Former Ambassador & Head of HM Diplomatic Service. We discuss the nature of leadership, how diplomats work to resolve challenging and complex situations, and what his life in diplomacy can teach us all about leading.

Thought Economics

Negotiation is stressful. It can bring out the worst in people. Wouldn’t it be better if there were a principled way to negotiate? Wouldn’t it be even better if there were a way to treat people fairly and get treated fairly in a negotiation? Barry Nalebuff is the Milton Steinbach Professor at the Yale School of Management. Nalebuff applies game theory to business strategy and is the co-founder of one of America’s fastest-growing companies, Honest Tea. In his new book, SPLIT THE PIE: A Radical New Way to Negotiate he outlines his tried and tested practical negotiation methods that reveal the true power of the players and what they bring to the table. From years of real-world negotiation, and deep research on game theory, Nalebuff identifies what’s really at stake in a negotiation: the “pie.” In his model, the negotiation pie is the additional value created through an agreement to work together. Seeing the relevant pie will change how you think about fairness and power in negotiation. You’ll learn how to get half the value you create, no matter your size.  In this interview I speak to Professor Barry Nalebuff about how we can apply his negotiation model to understand and reframe everything from every-day to high-stakes negotiations. We delve into the psychology of the negotiation and how deploying empathy can help reach great solutions.

Thought Economics

In his latest book Think Again, Adam Grant – Wharton’s top-rated professor and #1 bestselling author – offers bold ideas and rigorous evidence to show how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, encourage others to rethink topics as wide-ranging as abortion and climate change, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. How shows us how international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, and how a vaccine whisperer convinces anti-vaxxers to immunize their children. Think Again is an invitation to let go of stale opinions and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what you don’t know is wisdom. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Adam Grant about why we need to re-evaluate what we know, what we think we know, and how we know it.

Thought Economics

Chris Voss is the CEO & Founder of the Black Swan Group and Author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It. Prior to 2008, Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. During his government career, he also represented the U.S. Government at two international conferences sponsored by the G-8 as an expert in kidnapping. In this exclusive interview, I talk to Chris Voss about the secrets of negotiation, and how we can negotiate to win.

Thought Economics

My interview with Stephen A. Schwarzman – He’s the man who took $400,000 and co-founded Blackstone, the investment firm that manages over $545 billion. He’s the CEO whose views are sought by heads of state. He’s the billionaire philanthropist who founded Schwarzman Scholars, this century’s version of the Rhodes Scholarship, in China. But behind these achievements is a man who has spent his life learning and reflecting on what it takes to achieve excellence, make an impact, and live a life of consequence.

Thought Economics

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