Leadership lesson from 2023 – a story of a servant leader

2023 is over now, but I would like to share the second powerful leadership lesson I’ve learned that year while working on The Negotiation Challenge for Students.

TNC 2023 took place Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome and it’s organization was coordinated by Angelo Monoriti, whom I’m priviledged to call a friend now. Organizing a 3-4 days event for over 100 participants is a complex task, which requires a significant effort and a strong team.

All throughout the preparations and the intensity of the finals in Rome, we’ve met many dedicated and highly successful professionals from various disciplines who offered their time and resources to support TNC 2023. Not because of TNC, which they had not known before, but because they were asked by their friend, Angelo! Their involvement exceeded mere attendance. They got involved in TNC as if it was their own project, offering their support, resources, and advice, whenever needed!

For many years, Angelo has been inspring students of Luiss Guido Carli University helping them to become better negotiators. His motivation is not rooted in the pursuit of wealth or fame but in the belief that these students need these skills to evolve into better versions of themselves and, ultimately, better leaders. When I spoke to some of them during the TNC finals in Rome, they emphasized that their relationship with Angelo has evolved from beining students of his class, through becoming Angelo’s mentees, and ending up as his friends. They learned together, grew together, celebrated together, and cried together. He was always there for them and I’m sure that they will be there for him, should he ever need their help.

On behalf of all your friends, thank you, Angelo, for helping us understand, the meaning of true leadership. Thank you for being there for us! Luiss Guido Carli University is lucky to have you on their faculty! I look forward to working with you!

Leadership lesson from 2023 – a story of a powerful lion and a clever rabbit

As this year is slowly coming to an end, following the great example of Charles Dickens, I would like to share two leadership stories, which are inspired by true events I’ve witnessed this year.

One day, in the heart of the Animal Kingdom, two prominent figures caught the attention of the entire kingdom. Ryan, the diligent rabbit, worked tirelessly for the kingdom’s prosperity. Cedric, a proud and powerful lion, held a high position and was in charge of making important decisions.

Cedric, however, decided to let go of Ryan from his duties, citing reasons that seemed surprising and unjust to many in the Animal Kingdom. The news spread like wildfire, and whispers of discontent echoed through the trees and fields.

Months passed, and the kingdom observed with keen interest the decisions made by Cedric. To the surprise of many, Cedric’s actions were not well received by his fellow animals. His partners, a coalition of wise and experienced animals, decided that his leadership lacked the wisdom and fairness the kingdom deserved.

One evening, as the sun dipped below the horizon, the partners gathered in a secret meeting. The partners, tired of Cedric’s erratic decisions, concluded that it was time for a change. They believed that a leader should be fair, just, and considerate of the well-being of all animals in the kingdom. After a long deliberation, they made the difficult decision to relieve Cedric of his duties.

Word spread through the Animal Kingdom, and the creatures couldn’t help but draw parallels between the fate of Ryan and Cedric. The wise old owl, Oliver, took it upon himself to share the moral of the story with the kingdom.

“Dear friends,” Oliver, the Owl hooted from his perch, “let this tale be a lesson to us all. In the vast tapestry of the Animal Kingdom, fairness and wisdom are the pillars of good leadership. Treat others with kindness and consideration, for one’s actions have a way of coming full circle.”

… and Ryan? After a few weeks of disappointment, Ryan, the rabbit, found himself exploring new territories within the Animal Kingdom. In a distant meadow, he stumbled upon a diverse community of animals facing challenges and seeking a leader. With resilience and determination, Ryan stepped forward to offer his guidance. The animals quickly recognized his fairness, empathy, experience, and wisdom traits that had been overlooked by his previous employer. In this new stimulating environment, Ryan flourished as a leader, fostering a sense of unity and cooperation among the diverse group of animals. Together, they thrived in harmony, proving that sometimes, a setback can lead to an even brighter and more fulfilling chapter in one’s journey.

Stay tuned for the next leadership fable on the New Year’s Eve!

Happy Holidays, my friends! Thank you for being a part of my journey!

A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing

Delighted to share that our paper: A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing is available in open access on the website of Harvard’s Negotiation Journal!

Running negotiation competitions for students and professionals requires producing new negotiation simulations. Over the years, we’ve designed, written, tested, and assessed hundreds of negotiation simulations and our paper shares the lessons we’ve learned along the way. It includes also a step-by-step practical guide how to write effective negotiation simulations.

Many thanks to my partner in crime Peter Kesting for this excellent idea and Silvia P. Glick, Melissa Manwaring and other anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and feedback.

We are super excited and couldn’t wait to share it with you and look forward to receiving your feedback!

Source: A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing – Kesting – 2023 – Negotiation Journal – Wiley Online Library

The Negotiation Challenge for Professionals

Negotiation is an art we all practice, whether we realize it or not. It permeates various aspects of our lives, from deciding where to eat with friends to securing business deals that impact our economic well-being. Some of us even negotiate professionally, making negotiation skills a crucial asset for success in our careers. Given its ubiquity and significance, it becomes vital to introspect and ask ourselves: Are we good negotiators? Can we negotiate effectively when it truly matters?

As founders of one of the first international negotiation competitions, The Negotiation Challenge, we once struggled to pinpoint the exact factors contributing to negotiators’ performance. The journey began with intuition, but we knew we needed more. Over time, we crafted a comprehensive evaluation system grounded in solid academic research, which has since proven to be a reliable benchmark for assessing and comparing negotiators’ abilities.

Throughout human history, we have relentlessly pursued mastery and excellence in various fields. Whether it’s determining the fastest runner, the strongest warrior, or the most skilled musician, competitions have been our means of comparison and a catalyst for greatness. In the spirit of this quest, we established The Negotiation Challenge for Professionals, a fair and transparent competition designed to put your negotiation skills to the test and measure them against others in your domain.

No matter your professional background—be it sales, procurement, entrepreneurship, M&A advisory, strategy consulting, or legal practice—The Negotiation Challenge invites you to participate and systematically assess your negotiation prowess alongside passionate negotiators from diverse countries and cultures.

Why should you seize this unique opportunity to develop your negotiation skills?

  1. Negotiate with the Best – The Negotiation Challenge attracts top-notch negotiators from around the world. Facing off against them demands the utilization of a wide array of negotiation tools and methods to engineer value and strike astute agreements. This challenge is your gateway to becoming an even better negotiator.
  2. Network with Passionate Negotiators – Engaging in The Negotiation Challenge allows you to connect with fellow passionate negotiators from various companies and nations. Through these interactions, you can exchange experiences, broaden your network, and learn from different perspectives.
  3. Feedback from Negotiation Experts – The founders and judges of The Negotiation Challenge are not just thought leaders and experts in the field; they are seasoned negotiators themselves. Their invaluable feedback has helped countless participants diagnose weaknesses and optimize their negotiation styles for success.
  4. Develop Your Negotiation Skills – Confronted with intricate negotiation scenarios and competing against well-trained and experienced counterparts, participants receive an excellent opportunity to elevate their negotiation skills. The guidance and coaching provided by judges further aid in their development.

The ability to navigate conflicts and negotiate wise agreements profoundly impacts the quality of our lives. Whether you are a seasoned negotiator or aspire to hone your negotiation craft, we extend our invitation to join The Negotiation Challenge. Together, we will shape a world where effective negotiation becomes a cornerstone of personal and professional success.

Unlock your negotiation potential and register for The Negotiation Challenge today! Embrace the opportunity to excel, grow, and become an extraordinary negotiator.

Differences between habitual and novice entrepreneurs in funding negotiations

Happy to announce that our paper “Differences between habitual and novice entrepreneurs in funding negotiations” has just been published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research!

Serial entrepreneurs are generally able to secure more venture capital funding and on better deal terms than novices. Our study investigates the disparities in negotiation competencies between habitual and novice entrepreneurs during VC funding negotiations. We use a qualitative approach to investigate the variation in negotiation competencies between habitual and novice entrepreneurs, utilizing the negotiation competency model (NCM). Our findings reveal substantial differences between novice and habitual entrepreneurs in VC negotiations. The results indicate three primary dimensions contributing to these differences: expertise, reputation, and negotiation competences. Our study represents one of the earliest empirical investigations into the entrepreneurial negotiation competencies within VC negotiations. The findings narrow the gap between novice and habitual entrepreneurs in VC negotiations by pinpointing the distinct variations between these two groups, which hold significant practical implications.

We are already translating our findings into a negotiation training designed especially for entrepreneuers to prepare them for their most important entrepreneurial negotiations! Please reach out to me if you’re interested in such training!

Many thanks to Christian GladePeter Kesting, and Dominik K. Kanbach for a great collaboration on this project! We also keep on looking at the VC funding negotiations and hope to report further insights soon!

Source: Differences between habitual and novice entrepreneurs in funding negotiations | Emerald Insight

“What is Your Best Price?”—An Experimental Study of an Alternative Negotiation Opening (PDF)

Delighted to share that our paper “What’s your best price? – An Experimental Study of an Alternative Negotiation Opening” is available on the website of Harvard’s Negotiation Journal.

Our study investigates the impact of an negotiation opening frequently encountered in negotiations, especially after posting ads on classified services on economic and relational outcomes. Our results show that inducing the first offer seems to lead to better outcome than making a counteroffer and not to damage the relationship between the negotiating parties.

Many thanks to my co-authors Wolfram Lipp and Peter Kesting for an excellent collaboration!

Source: (PDF) “What is Your Best Price?”-An Experimental Study of an Alternative Negotiation Opening

Beyond the First Offer: Decoding Negotiation Openings and Their Impact on Economic and Subjective Outcomes

Happy to share that our paper on counteroffers in negotiation “Beyond the First Offer: Decoding Negotiation Openings and Their Impact on Economic and Subjective Outcomes” has been accepted for publication in Group Decisions and Negotiation!

In our paper, we analyzed the impact of counteroffers on economic and subjective outcomes. If you ever wondered whether counteroffers matter in negotiation, you might enjoy reading this paper.

Once again, many thanks to Wolfram Lipp and to Peter Kesting, my old partner in crime!

Source: (PDF) Beyond the First Offer: Decoding Negotiation Openings and Their Impact on Economic and Subjective Outcomes

What Does It Mean To Negotiate Well?

What does it mean to negotiate well and what is the panda bear effect?

In our chat with Kwame Christian from American Negotiation Institute, we talk about a topic that has been very important to me ever since we’ve launched our negotiation competition, The Negotiation Challenge. It is quite surprising that after four decades of research, we still do not have widely recognized standards for evaluating negotiators’ performance. This was mainly the reason behind our work on the Negotiation Competency Model.

While organizing and judging various negotiation competitions, we’ve also observed that the teams that usually do well display something, we called the panda bear effect. To find out what it is, tune in to our episode of Negotiate Anything!

German Climate Tech Map 2022

Purpose and impact are concepts that have accompanied me for a while now. They’ve helped me discovered my passions for negotiation – to help us make better joint decisions and for innovation – to shape a better future. They’ve guided me in search of the best use of my time and energy. Recently, I’ve realized that my focus list is incomplete and started digging deeper into sustainability and asked myself, whether it is possible to combine it with growth. Together with a team of smart, like-minded colleagues, we’ve been focusing on strategic aspects of sustainability and today, we would like to present an overview of the German climate tech startups, aka:


German Climate Tech Map 2022

Climate Tech is currently the fastest growing vertical in Europe. In 2021 alone, European startups raised more than USD 11 billion in venture capital – an increase of more than 2.2 times compared to 2020 (Dealroom). Climate Tech includes business models and technologies that aim to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and thus decarbonize the global economy, and covers the areas of buildings and mobility to food and farming. More and more climate tech startups are valued in the billions: more than 10% of the more than 50 climate tech unicorns worldwide come from Germany (including Enpal, TIER Mobility, Lilium, INFARM, Sunfire GmbH and Volocopter GmbH).

Together with my colleagues Pia Sander and Jil Zoé Fuhrmann, we’ve put together a climate tech map for Germany. A total of more than 170 companies that meet the following criteria have made it onto our German Climate Tech Map:

  • The company is active in the Climate Tech area in the areas of Banking & Insurance, Buildings, Carbon Tech, Energy, Food & Land & Water, Industry & Manufacturing or Mobility & Transportation.
  • The company’s headquarters are in Germany.
  • The company was founded in 2015 or later.
  • The company has funding (equity/debt).

More than 25% of startups are in the mobility & transportation sector, closely followed by energy startups (20%). In the future we will probably see even more start-ups in the Carbon Tech sector – this group currently accounts for around 13%.

Here is the complete list with all German climate tech startups. Did we forget a startup? Then please leave a comment!

Toward a Process Model of First Offers and Anchoring in Negotiations (PDF)

Super happy to share that our literature review on first offers in negotiation “Toward a Process model of First Offers and Anchoring in Negotiations” has been accepted for publication in Negotiation and Conflict Management Research!

In our paper, we analyzed 119 articles that focused on various aspects of first offers in negotiation, ordered them in a process a process model and identified avenues for further research. If you ever wondered about what research has found out about the impact of first offers in negotiation, you might enjoy reading this paper.

Many thanks to Wolfram Lipp, who headed this project and to Peter Kesting, my old partner in crime!

Source: (PDF) Toward a Process Model of First Offers and Anchoring in Negotiations