Leaders-In-Action: Government.gov

U.S. State Department


The U.S. State Department often has the unenviable task of bringing together groups who feel that their interests are so diametrically opposed that, left to their own devices, they would not even say hello to each other, let alone collaborate. Usually attempts at reconciliation only cement prior positions and prejudices. For example, said Program Officer David Searby, ¨I have personally seen Dr. Zweifel in action as he has met with groups of my International Visitors,¨ ¨a group of women from Armenia and Azerbaijan,¨ two countries ¨at war over the Nagarno-Karabakh region,¨ met in the conference room at his State Department office. ¨Not surprisingly, the women had been divided along country lines and had bickered bitterly in previous meetings.¨

Communicate or DieCommunicate_or_Die_-_the_book.html
Leading Through Language.Communicate_or_Die_-_the_book.html
Culture ClashCulture_Clash_-_the_book.html
Manage Effectively Across Borders.Culture_Clash_-_the_book.html


Building a Shared Understanding.

—David Searby,

program officer,

U.S. State Department

Speaking & KeynotesSpeaking_%26_keynotes.html
Think & Lead


The State Department used a Keynote on the 3 Cs of leadership (Co-leadership, Communication, and Culture Clash) combined with the books Culture Clash and Communicate or Die, since the participants ¨sought (and received) copies of Dr. Zweifel's works to take home with them.¨


¨His greatest skill in my opinion is to help people with different agendas to find that precious common ground and build from there. He is a man who deserves a title that is all too often bestowed without merit, but in his case it is truly deserved: miracle worker.¨--David Searby, program officer, U.S. State Department


David Searby was a seasoned officer who had seen his share of transnational negotiations. In this case he was astonished. ¨During the two hours they spent with Dr. Zweifel discussing leadership, the group was transformed into a single, cohesive unit, freely sharing ideas and opinions and working together. It was an amazing feat. The group contacted me later to say how grateful they were for meeting Dr. Zweifel.¨ What amazed Searby even more was the fact that the keynote had to be translated by interpreters. ¨Dr. Zweifel accomplished these things without the ability to converse directly with his interlocutors. I can only imagine what he could accomplish if he could cut out the translators.¨ 

Map of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagarno-Karabakh

Ali G interviews former secretary of state James Baker on carrots and sticks as a tool of diplomacy

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