Worth Reading: The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively

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Friends, I’m very pleased to announce the pending publication of my new book, The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively.  It is being published by FT Press/Pearson.

The formal publication date is May 6, but pre-orders are available now for both print and e-books, individual or bulk orders. E-book versions will be available April 26 directly from FT Press.   Amazon says that pre-ordered books should be received by customers in New York by May 9.  Bulk orders at a discount can be made at CEO Read.

This is my third book (fourth, if you count the two editions of Reputation Management as separate), but it’s the one I’m most excited about.  It most closely tracks the work we do in the Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership.  And it more closely aligns with the work we do with our clients: help them exercise leadership and maintain or restore trust in high-stakes situations.  And it is more likely to resonate with clients, students, and professional colleagues.

About The Power of Communication:

Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively,

Communication has power, but like any powerful tool, it needs to be used effectively or it can cause self-inflicted harm. Harnessing the power of communication is a fundamental leadership discipline.

This book is about how leaders can inspire, persuade, and earn the confidence of stakeholders through verbal engagement.  About how they can build trust, inspire loyalty, and lead effectively.

The book does three things:

  1. It translates core leadership and strategy doctrine of the United States Marine Corps, as embodied in its Warfighting manual, into guidelines for effective leadership communication. These provide an important conceptual framework, and the individual Marine Corps warfighting concepts serve as guideposts along the journey we take.  But they’re merely the starting point.
  2. It applies best practices in leadership communication drawn from my 33 years of advising and coaching leaders, and from my 24 years of teaching management and communication in graduate programs at NYU and other universities around the world. This is the meat of the book—the big takeaway.
  3. It makes extensive use of case studies and examples, of both effective and ineffective communication by leaders in high-stakes situations.

The book could easily exist without the Warfighting principles, but I have found that the combination is more powerful than either standing alone. In fact, the conceptual framework of the book is the same as what I have used for years in my communication strategy and crisis communication courses at NYU and with corporate, military, and NGO clients, in the US and abroad.

The book’s foreword is by LtCol Rob Riggle, who straddles military and civilian life.  He is simultaneously a Marine Reserve public affairs officer, after many years of active duty, and an entertainer.  You may remember him from his time as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Rob Riggle on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart


Nine Principles of

Effective Leadership Communication

The book closes with the Nine Principles of Effective Leadership Communication, drawn from the earlier chapters of the book, that can serve as reference points for a leader’s own communication ability.

I’ll expand upon those principles in future blogs, but for now, here’s the list:

  1. See communication as the continuation of business by other means:
    • It is intentional
    • It is interactive
    • It is intended to provoke a reaction.
  2. To move people, meet them where they are.
  3. Walk the talk.
  4. Control the communication agenda.
  5. Remember that even small events, changes, or blunders can have big consequences.
  6. Plan ahead and align tactics with strategy.
  7. Invest in continuous improvement in communication skills.
  8. Harness the power of language and of framing.
  9. Understand how the human brain works.


Advance Praise for the Book

The early reviews for the book have been very gratifying, and a number of people have very generously consented to include their endorsements on the book’s back cover and in promotional materials.  Some highlights:

“Helio Fred Garcia coached me a decade ago on the fundamentals of effective communication. I probably wasn’t his best student, but I count what I learned from him as one of the most important contributions to my personal growth as an executive. The Power of Communication should be on the must-read list of any person who aspires to lead by capturing the hearts and minds of his or her stakeholders.”
Jeffrey Bleustein, Retired Chairman and CEO, Harley-Davidson, Inc.


The Power of Communication is an absolutely terrific book on how to communicate and lead in complex and shifting situations. Helio Fred Garcia has compiled a wealth of compelling examples to illustrate and support a cogent and immensely practical set of principles for leadership communication. The result is a compelling guide for leaders in business and government settings alike.”
Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, and author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy


“Helio Fred Garcia is known as one of the most engaging and effective professors at NYU. Readers of this book will learn why. Only Fred could weave together tales about Abbott and Costello, the Marine Corps, and Cicero into a must-read for anyone who hopes to connect with the American public.”
Louis Capozzi, Chairman, MSL Group (retired), and Adjunct Professor, New York University

“Professor Garcia’s book is great news for decision-makers, leaders, and professionals in the U.S. and any country in the world. The Power of Communication contains some very important global wisdom to save you in crisis in an omni-media age. The pity is that he can visit China only once a year, but that gives us all the more reason to celebrate the publication of this book, a very clear, concise, interesting, and powerful masterpiece.”
Steven Guanpeng Dong, Ph.D., Chair and Director, Institute of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, Tsinghua University, Beijing; Vice President, China Public Relations Association; former Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

The Power of Communication is story after story, insight after insight, lesson after lesson, inspiration after inspiration. Just when you think it’s impossible to find another important illustration of a crucial communication or leadership principle, Fred gives you another chapter of powerful, sensible, often surprising and charming stories and lessons. Believe me, he is a persuasive orator in person and, as you’ll read, on paper.

Looking to build your powers of communication, to inspire trust and confidence, and to lead effectively?  You hold in your hand the key ingredient to a happier, more successful, and influential professional life. Start reading.”
James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, President, The Lukaszewski Group Division, Risdall Public Relations

Staying in Touch

In the coming months I’ll blog as frequently as travel, client, and teaching commitments allow, on topics related to the book: some will be thematic; some will be commenting on breaking news.  I’ll also tweet at twitter.com/garciahf, using the hashtag #PowerofComm.  And you can Like the book on Facebook.

In the meantime, you can get a preview at the books’s website.  There you’ll have a chance to read the first chapter in pdf form; read a few of the Marine Corps warfighting concepts as applied to leadership communication, and see that it really does work.  And you’ll be able to link directly to Amazon or B&N for individual pre-orders, or CEO Read for bulk pre-orders.

If you like the book, please let me know.  Please also consider:

  • Blogging, tweeting, or FBing about it.
  • Following me on Twitter and RTing my tweets.
  • Writing a review on Amazon.
  • Telling your friends.

Thank you for your support…



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