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Negotiating in the Leadership Zone by Ken Sylvester

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Introduction: The Alaskan Fishing Conflict—A Real-Life Negotiation

I developed a well-thought-out business plan. I built a competent team. The objectives were clear. I hired Joe Sullivan, the best fisheries attorney in Seattle, for excellent legal counsel. The question is: How did it fail?

The Context

I was the lead negotiator for the Alaska fishing conflict from 1998 through 2002. The negotiation represented about 25,000 members of the Alaskan fisheries to obtain higher prices for their industry. On the surface, this appeared to be simple and straightforward.

The Situation

From about 1990 to 2000, fishermen were struggling to make a livelihood in a once prosperous Alaskan fishing industry. As a result of the declining economic conditions, conflict ...

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