The Qualities Needed to Be a Transformational Leader


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If you’re lucky enough, you’ll come across a transformational leader that inspired you at least once in your life. It could be a teacher, a manager, or your Mom! You’ll probably remember the way they made you feel years later… The post The Qualities Needed to Be a Transformational Leader appeared first on Bryan Kramer.

Why a Healthy Confidence is Key to Everything


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‘Be confident!’ It makes perfect sense when you see it written down but managing to harness the power of the terrifically useful but often elusive concept of confidence is…easier said than done.
One thing’s for sure though, it’s useful as… The post Why a Healthy Confidence is Key to Everything appeared first on Bryan Kramer.

Would Anyone Notice?


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I have the distinct pleasure of being chairman of the Institute for Public Relations and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society. This past week each organization convened in Manhattan for the IPR board meeting and Page Spring Conference, respectively. The issue of the day (or week) was the purpose of purpose. Organizational purpose, that is. I participated in three different purpose brainstorming sessions that included the best and brightest from the worlds of corporate America, academia and the agency world. The bottom line is that purpose is still very much a work in progress. For example, it is still seen by some Wall Street-focused CEO’s as non mission-critical (one participant referred to that baffling phenomenon as “the CEO blind spot”). Others noted that purpose is still being confused by some CCO’s, CMO’s and CHRO’s with the corporate mission. Most of the IPR/Page members “get” purpose. It’s intended to
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McKinsey embraces transparency (sort of)


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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You know the business world is changing when a highly secretive firm like McKinsey opens the kimono and actually addresses the myriad scandals that have befallen the firm in the past year. As you’ll read in this Fortune column as well as a more in-depth Q-and-A that’s embedded in the piece, McKinsey’s top partner, Kevin Sneader, has ushered in a new era of authenticity and responsibility by sending a letter to employees acknowledging “mistakes” and “learning from those mistakes.” We shall see if either promise becomes reality. I’ve blogged about McKinsey’s high-profile missteps in South Africa, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Each also received massive coverage in the New York Times. But in each Times article, one needed a magnifying glass to find the briefest of statements from a McKinsey spokesperson that either admitted wrongdoing or spoke to how the firm would avoid committing such transgressions in the future. If
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Follow Your Passion Even if It Requires Risk


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Humans are quite risk-averse, generally. Our propensity to avoid risk when we can is built into most life processes – don’t cross the road without looking, don’t invest all your savings in that new business, don’t leave your ham sandwich… The post Follow Your Passion Even if It Requires Risk appeared first on Bryan Kramer.

Designed to Fail.


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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It seems that every new day brings with it another egregious self-inflicted crisis caused by racially and gender-insensitive marketers. The most recent examples are the truly horrific gaffes committed by Adidas and Gucci, respectively;

How could anyone think this was okay?

“There are somethings that just don’t make sense in life; Adidas celebrating black history month with this shoe is one example”

While the in-house marketing team and agency partners are unquestionably at fault for their lack of social awareness, I think the real genesis of these blunders lies with the designers and engineers. These are the uber cool and uber insulated types who are constantly trying to come up with the hippest, sleekest and most cutting-edge sneakers, sweaters and widgets. Having worked with designers and engineers alike, I know they live within their own ivory towers. They obsess over trends, technology and ease-of-use, but are oblivious to the
?
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Shattering Glassdoor’s Reputation


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Achieving five stars on Glassdoor for an organization is the equivalent of a restaurant receiving 3 stars from Michelin Guide. But based on an explosive Wall Street Journal expose, all that glitters at Glassdoor is most certainly NOT gold. Here’s Peppercomm Partner Deb Brown’s POV. Personally, I’d give it 4.5 stars: What happens when your entire business model is questioned? That’s what happened to Glassdoor recently when the Wall Street Journal published an investigative report titled, “How Companies Secretly Boost Their Glassdoor Ratings.” That title has to hurt, especially when on its website, Glassdoor states, “Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency…”

Employers flood the ranking site with 5-star postings requested from enthusiastic staffers, leading to unusual spikes, a WSJ investigation found.

To be fair to Glassdoor, employees who are upset at their former or current employer are probably more likely to post negative reviews than content employees
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It’s a close shave


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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No matter how one analyzes Gillette’s controversial new campaign “Is this the best a man can get?” it’s fraught with uncertainties. And it most certainly has further divided an already divided country.

Truly the best a man can get?

First, though, a tip of the hat (or razor) to Gillette’s management for having the courage to double down on its purpose and values. But have they? Or is the campaign a mere ploy or stunt as some detractors claim whose only goal is to drive sales? I think there are several factors to weigh when analyzing the Gillette campaign: 1) Is alienating a significant percentage of the male shaving market worth the risk of taking a stand and saying the right thing? We asked that very question of 50 CCOs and CMOs we interviewed in a joint research study with the Institute for Public Relations. One CCO, who managed
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What Businesses Should Do Before Taking a Stand on Social Issues


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It wasn’t very long ago when staying quiet and avoiding controversy were the tried-and-true PR rules for businesses. But the consumer-company relationship is quickly evolving, along with people’s expectations of companies. A recent study by Clutch shows that 71% of people expect companies to take a stance on social movements. Because this expectation is so new, many businesses struggle with what to say and when, always being aware of the risks involved. Best case scenario? They speak out and their stance resonates with the majority of their consumers, resulting in higher revenue, an elevated brand, and greater awareness for the issue. Worst case scenario? They speak out and their stance alienates consumers to the point of revenue loss and tarnishes their brand. Staying silent isn’t safe either. Silence might keep the company out of controversary, but if it’s regarding an issue relevant to the company’s brand, it could hurt the
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How to Prevail with the Mean Spirited People in Your Life


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We’ve all got ‘em. And if you haven’t then one will show up soon enough. No, we’re not talking about the inexplicable amount of carrier bags that somehow accumulate in your house!
I have dealt with a few humdingers in… The post How to Prevail with the Mean Spirited People in Your Life appeared first on Bryan Kramer.

“Success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan.”


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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While it’s a day late and a dollar short, I’m pleased to share this infographic with you. Created in partnership with BrandFoundations, our longtime strategic marketing partner, the list below analyzed the best and worst managed societal crises of the past year Note: We define a societal crisis as anything ranging from a mass school shooting and the Southern border chaos to trade wars and environmental rollouts. We’ve also included #MeToo crises and self-inflicted wounds. Traditional crises such as product recalls, financial malfeasance and price fixing were not included in the analysis. As you will see from the infographic, we chose to grade the organizations based on three criteria: – Speed: How quickly did the organization take a stand on a societal crisis that either aligned with, or was the polar opposite of, their values? – Strength: Was the stand taken by the organization unequivocal, or could it be interpreted
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Oh The Humanities of It All: A Podcast with Andrew Koppel on the Importance of Social Science in an Era of AI


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Sasha Freemind
@sashafreemind, Unsplash.com

Somewhere between Summer and Fall, I spent an unforgettable moment with Andrea Koppel. The good news is that we recorded our conversation. If the surname sounds familiar, it’s because Andrea is the daughter of iconic broadcast journalist and host of Nightline Ted Koppel. Andrea is a force of her own however. She’s the host of the uber-popular Time4Coffee podcast. It’s a show dedicated to students and entrepreneurs where “caffeinated career conversations” guide listeners in their studies and career pursuits. Initially, we focused on A.I. and why social sciences and creativity are more important in an era of machines and robots than ever. As time went on, I started to share a more personal side of my work, my challenges with technology and also what I can only say is a preview of my next big thing (click here to be among the first to
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9 Tips for Taking a Stand When a Societal Crisis Hits


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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Social injustice, gender issues, immigration, #MeToo, gun control, and trade wars. These are just a few of the many societal issues about which large and small businesses alike are finding themselves increasingly pressured to stand up and speak out.
We entrepreneurs may think our comparatively small size protects us from the slings and arrows of the hourly news cycle or employees picketing outside company headquarters. But it doesn’t. A Glassdoor survey of 1,000 employees from organizations of all sizes found that 62 percent expect their employers to take a stand on important societal and political issues of the day.
Do I have your attention? I should, since remaining silent or saying the wrong thing could imperil everything from employee recruiting and retention to business continuity and even your exit strategy.
Source: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

My firm, Peppercomm, has interviewed more than 150 chief communications officers in the past 18 months,
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What if Santa’s database were hacked


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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In the spirit of the season (and a sad reflection of the times), I’ve allowed myself to briefly escape to an alternate universe and imagine the ultimate Christmas crisis. What if Santa’s database were hacked? Let’s assume I’m the hacker and, thanks to a huge assist from a freelance elf named Yuri (a quick tip of the babushka to Yuri), I’ve gained access to the mother of all holiday databases: Santa’s list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. I’d swiftly change a few of Santa’s decisions and create my own. Here’s who would fill the top three slots on my naughty and nice lists, respectively (as well as the gifts an unsuspecting Santa will be putting in their stockings on Christmas Eve): NAUGHTY: 1.) POTUS. No surprise here but, hey, the guy’s latest chief of staff has gone on record as calling him “a terrible human
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