Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

To Change Gun Laws, Control the Debate

On the Wednesday after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, President Barack Obama called for changes in gun laws to prevent similar tragedies in the future. He said:

“We may never know all the reasons why this tragedy happened. We do know that every day since more Americans have died of gun violence. We know such violence has terrible consequences for our society. And if there is only one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events we have a deep obligation – all of us – to try. Over these past five days a discussion has re-emerged as to what we might do not only to deter mass shootings in the future, but to reduce the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country every single day.”


Tweetdom, That’s What I Need, Um*: Confessions of a Twitter Newbie

Consider this post Part 2 of Emotions are Stubborn Things. Part 1 happened such a long, long time ago that I won’t even say anything more about it. But, I’m back now and feeling stubbornly emotional about communication.

Twitter! I can’t capture in a small number of words – much less 140 characters – how my life has changed since my tweets debuted, just 6 short days ago. I’m now 49 tweets and 49 followers into the Twitter Matrix.

Let’s just say that up until last week, I suffered from a generational bent away from Twitter. Before my conversion, tweeting represented rapid technological transmission (a significant plus) aggravated by an accelerated loss of privacy (a catastrophic minus). But, I buckled up anyway and got on this Social Media ride, precisely because I am determined to stay contemporary. I want to avoid being that person who shuns technological breakthroughs.  I’m not calling out any names here (like my mom’s), but you know that person I’m talking about, the one who, in decades gone by, didn’t want to hear about call waiting, wouldn’t leave messages on answering machines, and poo-poo’d email, saying, “ahoo, yahoo, what’s the difference?!” So, yup, I joined the Twitter corps and got the esprit. I started tweeting about emotion, a subject near and dear to my heart, and, apparently, I can’t stop.

As a consultant, coach and lecturer, I’m always emphasizing how emotion lubricates communication… or makes true dialogue skid to a stop. After an initial tweet or two along those same lines, I felt wildly invigorated. And, then, I got some followers. Wow! And, then, I noticed that those followers followed intriguing tweeters. Cool! So, then, I started to follow them. And, then, I heard so many voices out there, talking about everything and nothing all at once. Some of their messages resonated deeply. Others gave me belly laughs. Some left me feeling disturbed. Hmm…

True: What every tweeter chats up in cyberspace is not always engaging or even interesting – just as my own tweets are not to everyone’s tastes – but when the periodic updates fuse together with clever vignettes about the tweeters’ ideas, their passions, their friends, their blogs, and, of course, the 9 quick ways to monetize Twitter, the result is a lively, delectable, followable mix.

Clearly, tweeters inhabit a parallel universe that so many people don’t even know about. Yes, I think I’ll stay here.

The trouble with staying in the Twitterverse is that it’s hard to tear myself away. Calls still have to be returned, dishes still need to be washed, and books still need to be read. More importantly, bills still need to be paid, so I’m taking my colleague Laurel Hart’s advice and being very strategic in how I engage with Twitter, and how I permit it to engage me.

As time goes on, what I’ll have to develop more of is what Howard Gardner has called the synthesizing mind, something I learned about due to my organic, free range grazing on Twitter: “The synthesizing mind is about knowing how to deal with an avalanche of information; knowing what to learn and what to reject as irrelevant.”

All that being said, here are some other interesting tidbits for the Sticky Wicket:

–A video clip of Clay Shirky, discussing the “transmission of emotionally engaging messages rippling around the world at nearly the speed of light.” (Social Media Enhances the Emotional Dimension of News)

–Brian Solis blogging about “connectivity through inspiration.” (Social Media is Rife with Experts but Starved of Authorities). Communicating on Twitter in the age of viral sound bites requires observing and listening, he says, and I agree.

–A completely fascinating but somewhat scary search tool called Start by typing in your own name.

*For those of you wondering why I’ve used Jimi Hendrix’s image here, well, I’ll just leave you guessing (Hint: “Freedom”). In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter:@emoticomma

Apology Update: Compare and Contrast

A public apology is a good way to express remorse and offer reconciliation to an affected party. But the very act of apologizing can be daunting.

If delivered effectively, an apology can mend relationships and restore trust between two or more parties.

If delivered effectively, an apology can help maintain company’s competitive advantage, reduce litigation costs and minimize business disruptions.

If delivered effectively, an apology can create a perception of genuine regret on behalf of the offender and mend his or her reputation.

But here is a question:

Can an effective delivery distract the audience from an insufficient apology?


Can a weak delivery diminish a powerful message of a genuine apology?

I invite you to look at three recent apologies and share your opinion about the effectiveness of each apology is in terms of its message and its presentation.


Humility Update: President Obama on the World Stage

Humility is strength.

More than a year ago I began a series on this blog about humility as a leadership attribute.  I noted that

A dollop of humility tempers other attributes, and makes a leader even stronger. Humility helps a leader to recognize that maybe – just maybe – he or she might be wrong; that there may be other valid perspectives; that he or she doesn’t have to be the smartest person in every room, at every meeting.

Humility also helps leaders to connect with others up, down, and across the chain of command; to build organizations and cultures that more likely thrive; to understand the perspectives of other stakeholders.

Yesterday at the close of the G-20 Summit in London, President Obama put his leadership in full focus as he demonstrated both confidence and humility on the world stage.  It worked.

He gained the confidence of world leaders, including those who had previously been America’s adversaries or who had predicted that the Summit would fail.  He even got a rousing ovation from an otherwise skeptical world press corps.

In a press conference closing the Summit, President Obama demonstrated a tone that was a stark contrast to that of his predecessor, and that rallied other world leaders to seek to cooperate with the United States rather than to resist us.

President Obama set the tone before a single question was asked: (more…)

On Apology

Photo by KiraKalina

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
” Paul Boese

A significant increase in public apologies over the past months could be seen as a positive trend.

We saw the most senior leader of this country apologizing to the American public: “I screwed up.” We watched two prominent athletes A-Rod and Michael Phelps issue painful apologies to their fans.

We saw four bosses of British banks saying sorry to the Treasury Select Committee, and watched Japan’s Finance Minister announce his resignation along with a formal mea culpa.

And finally, in the last couple of weeks we heard the words of regret from Rupert Murdoch and Bishop Richard Williamson.

And yet many of these highly visible apologies failed to earn public forgiveness. Some were criticized for being too shallow and insincere, others could be hardly recognized as apologies at all.

So, what does it take to make an effective apology that comes across as true and genuine? And what are some examples of ineffective apologies that failed to resolve conflicts or earn forgiveness?

Update: Humility, Humiliation, and Self-Inflicted Harm: Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich

‘Nuff said….


Managing Fear

No, this is not a post on the financial markets or political campaigns

A month ago, I paused to digest the report out of Pakistan that a truck bomb had destroyed the Islamabad Marriott, killing 55 people and wounding more than 250.

The news unnerved me. I had stayed at the Islamabad Marriott for five nights in February 2007 while on an ILO mission to evaluate the Soccer Ball Project. I remember the modern, glitzy lobby, the Thai restaurant, and the “foreigners only” club in the hotel basement that played cosmopolitan Hindustani dance mixes and served alcohol outlawed for most Pakistanis. (more…)

A Firm of Foodies

It can be hard to describe what characterizes the personality of a firm, what with different personalities, areas of expertise and converging (and sometimes diverging) passions. But here at Logos, one thing that brings us all together is FOOD.

Yes, food. All of us came to Logos with an interest in food, but we really discovered our mutual obsession in Japan. I was working for a client of Logos at the time, and Anthony, Fred and Barbara were all in Kyoto as part of the team. Over our long, sleep-deprived days (and during our few and fleeting moments of down-time), we talked food. And of course, being in Japan, we talked Iron Chef.


Welcome to the Logos Institute Blog

Welcome to the Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership.

We hope that this blog provokes discussion, deliberation, and some fresh ideas. As a learning organization, Logos Institute is committed to continuous development: of our own perspectives, skills, and aptitudes, and of our clients’, friends’ and the community’s as well.

Each of the Logos Institute fellows who will post here has a particular set of interests, expertise, and passions. We hope to share them with you, and to engage you to share your interests, expertise, and passion. Sometimes the posts will be evergreen, on important but timeless topics. Sometimes they will seize on breaking news to find teachable (dare I say, learnable?)  moments that help us better make sense of what’s going on around us. And sometimes we’ll just exercise whimsy.

We invite you to join us on this journey.