It’s always bracing to hear leadership principles from military officers because they often have to make life and death decisions. America’s highest ranking officer, and the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. Shared some leadership insights recently at a conference that I thought worth repeating. Here’s what he had to say:
The President of Fox News, Roger Ailes, calls today’s culture a “headline society.” We now live on short, direct, and to the point soundbites. Certainly it’s not the way we’d like it to be, but the truth is, if you’re a professional communicator, giving a presentation, making a speech, or writing copy for advertising, websites, or other media, you need to think
What do you do after your national spokesperson (or CEO or pastor) has been arrested? (Worse – for being a pedophile.) That’s what Subway’s leadership is asking this week after the news that Jared Fogle, the former Subway spokesman, plead guilty to possession of child pornography. The federal charges state that he repeatedly paid to engage in sexually explicit acts with children and that he received and distributed child pornography. The documents also say that Fogle, 37, used Web sites for commercial sex and traveled extensively to engage in sexual acts with minors from 2007 until June 2015. So the question becomes
You may not know that before he was President of Fox News and Chairman of Fox Television Stations Group, Roger Ailes ran a corporate communications firm. He advised presidents like Ronald Reagan, celebrities, and major corporate CEO’s. In his book “You Are The Message” he lists the 10 most common communication problems that apply to speakers, executives, and leaders of all kinds. Here’s the list, because it’s worth thinking about. Which of these do you have the most difficulty?
In the religious and nonprofit world, a leader’s moral failure still has a major impact. Along with the theological and scriptural issues, there’s also a significant trust issue involved. The common thinking is that if he or she can’t be trusted to honor marriage vows, then the leader is likely untrustworthy in other areas as well. However you personally fall on the spectrum of that thinking, the truth is, churches, ministries, and nonprofits take a heavy hit when a leader has an affair, or worse, is involved in illegal sexual behavior. In these cases, how the organization reacts in the first 24 hours is critical. Having advised numerous organizations through these difficult situations, here’s my recommendations for the first 24 hours of the crisis:
When you speak before a group, preach a sermon, or make a presentation in the office, there’s one mistake people make over and over: too much information. They try to cover too many points, and as a result, the presentation simply bogs down in useless detail. One important principle in speaking or presenting is unity. As the title of one of my books suggests,