BS & BAND MUSIC:  A BLOG ON REPUTATION, STORYTELLING & COMMUNICATIONS

Don’t Pour Gasoline on the Fire

September 17, 2019

OK, so the you-know-what has hit the fan.

The CEO is agitated. The General Counsel has already called the outside law firm. C-suite leaders are whispering in the hallway.

You are in the first moments of a real crisis.

As a communications leader, what do you do?

I’ve worked for many years with leaders on challenging situations like lawsuits, regulatory actions, layoffs, acquisitions, divestitures, workplace violence and the 9/11 attack.

Every crisis is unique.

There is never a...

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Crisis and The First Law of Holes

July 21, 2019

 

Leading effectively during a crisis is one of the toughest tests for a CEO and a communications leader. My friend and mentor Gary Sheffer, longtime Chief Communications Officer at GE, used to say that, “Crisis is when we communicators earn our keep.”

Gary is right. Communicators work extremely hard and get lots of attention during a crisis. Sometimes accolades follow.

But communicators really earn their keep (and fewer accolades) when they prevent crisis situations. That’s why I’m a big...

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In Praise of Humility

April 29, 2019

 

Let me stake out a controversial position. Humility has become a de-valued asset for business leaders, and we need to reverse this trend.

In today’s business and political environment, bluster, boasting and blather seem to be the rage, sometimes literally. The biggest, baddest, boldest claims get the most ink. The mouthiest are frequently celebrated as “disruptors,” and showered with praise, votes and investment capital.

Since I am a public relations and communications advisor, you...

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How Not to Speak Corporate Jargon (and Other Slam-Dunk No-Brainers)

April 4, 2019

Do your leadership messages ever resemble this?

By driving the hyperconvergence of our scalable strategies and core competencies, we will leverage the synergistic efficiencies vis-à-vis the marketing matrix to empower the productive potential of the paradigm shift.

Far too many corporate leaders speak and write in dialects of Corporate Jargon. Even worse, some communications leaders let them do it.

After delivering a message like this, they assume the stunned silence is reverence and...

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Facts and Stories

February 28, 2019

I grew up in a small town, a really small town.

Mercer, Missouri never had more than 400 residents. A small bandstand still stands in the town square. Back when Mercer was more prosperous, the square included a drug store, two grocery stores, a lumber yard, the bank, the post office, and Sammy’s barber shop.

Every other Saturday, Mom sent me to Sammy’s for a haircut. Sammy worked alone, but he had five or six chairs in the waiting area, so it made the perfect place for the guys to sit...

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