Abut the Authors - From the book preface
Colorful Leadership is the result of an additive effort. The 3-Filters theme is the intellectual property of Larry Nelson. It is used with his permission and encouragement. I have taken his theories in directions he never intended, but like me, he enjoys watching new things emerge and is willing to pursue them wherever they lead. Constructive Conflict, 4-Quadrants, and several other chapters were co-authored with Bill Kuehn.
My background is in the corporate world, having worked in senior level business and technology management positions for a number of large organizations. After the American economy severely contracted following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on America, my company had to do some serious cost-cutting. On my 50th birthday, I went from Vice President of Global Business and Technology to unemployment in an economy that was extremely low on new employment opportunities. For me, due to a generous severance benefit, it was an opportunity to take a sabbatical. Away from the corporate world, I had an opportunity to read, write and teach. The sabbatical became profitable and continued for several years until I rejoined the corporate world in another management position.
Larry Nelson is an entrepreneur who has owned companies on several continents. Along the way, he has developed new theories on needs-based behavior, similar to Abraham Maslowís hierarchy of needs, but with a different structure. When I became acquainted with Nelsonís ideas, I could not put his material down and had to call him to learn more. Much of this book is a result of those interviews.
Bill Kuehn was a sales manager for the telephone company. He moved into training, and then formed his own company, specializing in team development. I became acquainted with Kuehn when my company hired him to work with one of our software development teams. After a two-day class, people showed respect for each otherís differences, and we saw significantly improved productivity. As a result of this success, we formed a business partnership called Tough Teams, to further develop this material and focus on technology project teams.
As to why I took the time to put this book together, that is hard to explain. Maybe someone somewhere might read it and share my fascination with some of the topics. Bill Kuehn and I once wrote a paper on constructive conflict, put it on the web, and found interest in it internationally, leading to its translation and publication in China. When you write something down, you never know who might be reading it. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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