This blog is about corporate communications and culture. So why is it called “BS and Band Music?”

Here’s the story.

I’ve worked as a communications leader and advisor in the C-Suite for more than 25 years. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some really smart, innovative and dynamic leaders.

One of the best leaders I’ve worked with is John Lumelleau. He recently retired after 15 years as President and CEO of Lockton, a global insurance broker.

John is a tall, broad-shouldered former Fordham football player, an imposing, but not threatening figure. He is confident and clear about his expectations.

On one of my first days at the company, John invited me to stop by his office. I’d been hired to build the brand and communications function at Lockton.

John shook my hand and invited me to sit down across the desk from him. Then he looked me squarely in the eye and said, “Welcome to Lockton. Let me make something clear. I don’t want a bunch of BS and band music in our communications.”

That set the tone for our collaboration and messaging. No BS and band music.

John didn’t have to explain in fine detail what that meant. I got it from the start.

If you would like a few clues, here they are:
- Be open, honest and direct in your messaging
- Make it clear
- Dump the jargon
- Keep it relevant
- Tell stories that engage people, internally and externally

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE band music. All sorts of bands, from classic rock to classical to marching bands. Hey, I went to military school.

But when it comes to driving culture and telling the stories that will help your business grow, I agree with John: “No BS and Band Music.” Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Use concrete examples. Tell genuine stories. Make a point. And keep the business moving in the right direction.

Please share your thoughts and share with others.
Up next: The power of stories. And facts, too.