What Should Companies Or Nonprofits Do After a Spokesperson’s Arrest?

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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

The 10 Most Common Communication Problems

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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?

What To Do The First 24 Hours After a Leader’s Moral Failure

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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:

One Big Thing: How To Get Your Message Heard

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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,

The Destructive Power of Being Sincerely Wrong

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Being wrong is one thing.  Being over-confident in your wrongness is something else entirely.  On my blog, on film sets, and in meetings, I often  encounter people who are spectacularly wrong, and yet enormously confident. It happens to the best of people. In the New Testament book of Matthew chapter 16, Jesus was foretelling His future to the disciples. It was far darker than they expected, and Peter tried to correct Him: 

Your Biggest Email Mistake

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Email drives us all nuts, but the fact is, it’s not going away anytime soon. So if we’re trying to get an important message across, it’s important our emails connect and make an impact. My advice?  Keep them short and to the point.  Alexis Kleinman wrote a terrific story in The Huffington Post on how to write shorter emails that makes a lot of sense. Here’s a short summary of her story. Read it, because it will dramatically impact your effectiveness online. Here’s her 3 key ideas:

Know Your Audience: It Matters More Than You Think

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Whenever Christian websites like The Christian Post or Charisma News post my articles on leadership or media, I usually get criticism from some Christians who wonder if I’m even a believer. Responses like “You don’t need leadership principles, all you need is the Word of God.” Or, “Talking about sharing our faith through the media is ridiculous. It’s ungodly to evangelize through a channel owned by nonbelievers.” On and on. There are plenty of “armchair experts” out there who are more than happy to criticize (usually anonymously.) But knowing your audience matters, and the “843 Acres” online devotional had some interesting thoughts on that issue:

Are You Washed in the Blood? Communicating in a Language and Style the Culture Understands

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In my books I write frequently about making sure that in our scripts and programming, we stop the “Christian Lingo” and speak in a language and style the culture understands.  As an example, a few years ago I received this e-mail from a media executive that brilliantly illustrates the point:

Amazon Drones, Audacious Plans, and the Amazing Power of Buzz

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During the last week, the media has been obsessed with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement that within 4-5 years he wants to start delivering products directly to our homes via drones. It’s a wild idea, and yet Bezos has proven himself on so many levels, the idea can’t be discounted. More important, when it comes to getting your big ideas noticed, there’s some valuable lessons to be learned from the announcement: