Bill O’Reilly (Managing a Crisis)

20150305 Bill O’Reilly (Managing a Crisis)

On the heels of the Brian Williams media crisis, another celebrity was caught up in a crisis similar to, and directly related to Williams.  Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News commentator, was accused of the exact same misconduct in an article from Mother Jones magazine.

Quick review: Williams was suspended by NBC News when it became publicly known that Williams had exaggerated a claim from 2003 that he had almost been killed in Iraq.  He claimed that he was riding in a helicopter when it took ground fire and was forced to make an emergency landing.  The actual facts showed that he was in a group of 4 helicopters at the time and it was a helicopter in front of his that was hit. He was unaware of the danger until after the fact and on the ground.

There is nothing worse for anyone than to be caught in the cross hairs of the media.  It can be a person, a company, or even a brand.  What can you do if you make an honest mistake or if you are the victim of a negative campaign?  How can you survive the experience?

The intent here is not to comment on Bill O’Reilly’ integrity or professionalism.  Let’s analyze how his crisis unfolded and ask how you would handle the situation?  How did O’Reilly do? Continue reading

Media Crisis Management – Brian Williams

Crisis Management (1)Brian, Brian, Brian…

Oh Brian.

Yes… Brian Williams.

There is nothing worse for anyone than to be caught in the cross hairs of the media.  It can be a person, a company, or even a brand.  What can you do if you make an honest mistake or if you are the victim of a negative campaign?  How can you survive the experience?

Continue reading

Leadership Confusion

DSC07412Leadership… no one seems to be able to agree on a common definition.

A great example of this is in recent posting by Brittney Helmrich from the Business News Daily.  In the article, “30 Ways to Define Leadership”, Helmrich quotes the definitions of leadership by 30 business executives.  Each definition is sensible and stands well on its own.  The comments are intelligent and well informed.  In a professional or classroom situation everyone would agree all of the quotes are good, if not enlightened.

But in the context of all the quotes, each definition is different.  In some cases, the difference is subtle… a simple difference in word selection.  In other cases, the quotes address completely different aspects of leadership: vision, empowerment, motivation, emotional intelligence, taking responsibility, empathy, influence, inspiration, to name a few.  All are great concepts.

Who really knows?

Continue reading

The Absence of Leadership

Absent leader (1)There is no guarantee that leadership will make a company successful,  but I can almost guarantee a company will fail without it.

I had a surprising conversation with an HR director in a European branch office of a US company about leadership and its role in the company.

This person was a very experience executive, I’d estimate 10-15 years of work experience and responsible for HR policy and recruiting.  After the usual background exchange I asked about the biggest leadership challenges the company faced.  Were there issues of recruitment or development or mentoring?

The HR director looked at me and said that there were no problems, we don’t use leadership in this company.

Continue reading

On Being a Good Leader (Recognize Performance, additional thoughts)

I discussed performance recognition in earlier posts and have a few additional comments.

Genuine, honest praise pays dividends in morale, performance, and retention.

Reinforce the recognition.

Take the opportunity to recognize achievement at each lower level.

I mentioned several ways of recognizing performance: individual recognition, peer recognition, formal group recognition, industry awards, industry travel and conferences. Continue reading

Turnaround Tools – Cash Flow and Prioritizing Payables

The term “turnaround management” may bring to mind the corporate white knight who rides in to save the day and get a business back on track.  An element of truth gives it a certain romantic appeal.

But the term more accurately refers to that point after a company has filed for bankruptcy and has entered receivership.  In other words… creek… no paddle.

Cash flow and prioritizing payables
Cash is King (thank you Luis Pereiro).  You can have an unprofitable company, so long as you are able to meet your cash obligations.  You can have the best company in the world with high profits, but if you cannot meet your payments the company will fail. Continue reading

On Being a Good Leader (Recogize Performance) Part 2 of 2

DSC07285b

(Continued from “Recognize Performance, Part 1 of 2“.)

It is a real challenge to be a good boss.

There are a number of actions you can take that can make you the “best boss” someone ever had.

One of the most important, and perhaps one of the simplest, means of connecting with subordinates is the simple process of performance recognition.  In a previous post, I outlined reasons why a recognition program is important.

So the question now is: how do you set up recognition program and what are the mechanisms? Continue reading