Logos Consulting Group is pleased to note that Logos President Helio Fred Garcia has launched a new elective, Advanced Leadership: Crisis Management for Engineers, for graduate students at Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, also known as Columbia Engineering.

Garcia has been an adjunct associate professor at Columbia Engineering since the summer of 2017, where he has taught Introduction to Ethics to all 1,400 incoming 2017 graduate students. The pilot for the elective in advanced leadership and crisis management was conducted on November 10, 2017.  More than 140 students, or about ten percent of the student body, enrolled in the course.

The course focuses on the drivers of trust and how engineers can make smart decisions in a crisis by achieving mental readiness: a combination of emotional discipline, deep knowledge, and intellectual rigor. It builds on material that students learned in Garcia’s Introduction to Ethics course.


Case Studies

The Advanced Leadership: Crisis Management for Engineers course features three case studies of crises involving engineering and engineers.

The first, the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon explosion.  BP’s mishandling of what became the nation’s largest environmental disaster cost CEO Tony Hayward his job.

The company suffered significant consequences:

  • BP pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter and one count of lying to Congress.
  • BP paid $62 billion in fines, penalties, and settlements.
  • BP stock lost $105 billion in value in the months following the explosion, and remains depressed even seven years after the explosion.

The second case study was on General Motors’ handling of problems with the ignition switch in Cobalt and similar model cars that had been implicated in fatal accidents. The problem was discovered in 2001, but, according to an independent investigation in 2014, because engineers failed to fully understand the way the car was designed, GM labeled the issue a “customer inconvenience” rather than a safety defect, and therefore took very little action to resolve it for more than a decade. By 2014, 124 people had been killed, 17 people had suffered catastrophic injury such as multiple amputations or pervasive burns, and 250 others had been hospitalized with major injuries.

The consequences to General Motors were also significant:

  • GM paid $600 million to families of those killed or injured.
  • The company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • As part of the deferred prosecution agreement, GM forfeited $900 million.

The third case study focused on Apple’s dispute with the FBI following the terrorist shooting in San Bernardino, California. In early 2016 the FBI obtained a court order compelling Apple to design software to allow investigators to unlock a suspect’s iPhone and to overcome the encryption of any data that might be on the phone. Apple refused, saying that such software would make it possible to unlock every iPhone, creating significant safety and security risks for millions of Apple customers around the world. Two days later, Apple CEO Tim Cook received a standing ovation at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

. . . . . . . . .

Logos analyst Holly Helstrom helped Garcia design the course and the case studies, as well as his Introduction to Ethics course and an advanced ethics elective that will launch in December, 2017,

The Crisis Management for Engineers course is offered through Columbia Engineering’s Professional Development and Leadership program, which is intended to help engineering graduate students develop skills that will help them navigate the world of commerce, government, and academia following their course of formal study.

Garcia teaches similar courses in New York University’s Stern School of Business Executive MBA program and in NYU’s MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication program,  He also teaches similar content as a contract lecturer at Wharton/Penn, both traditional and executive MBA, Philadelphia and San Francisco.  He also teaches as a contract lecturer in several of the professional schools of the U.S. military, including the U.S. Defense Information School, the U.S. Air Force Air War College, and various Professional Military Education programs of the U.S, Marine Corps.


Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition, advancing common action among the world’s religious communities for peace. Logos Consulting Group has advised Religions for Peace as a pro bono publico client for more than 15 years, and Logos president Helio Fred Garcia has served on its Board of International Trustees for the past six years.

The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; six regional inter-religious councils and more than 90 national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.


L to R: Bishop Gunnar Stalsett, Bishop Emeritus of Oslow, Church of Norway, and Honorary President of Religions for Peace; Metropolitan Emanuel Adamakis, Vice President, Conference of European Churches; Cardinal Raymundo Assis, Archbishop Emeritus of Aparecida, São Paulo, Brazil.


In mid-October 2017 Religions for Peace held its annual meeting of its World Council of religious leaders and its Board of International Trustees, as a strategy planning session for the next World Assembly of Religions for Peace, in 2019.

Dr. William H. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, briefing the meeting on the current state of Religions for Peace.


The meeting was held in the American Academy in Rome, Italy.

The theme of the meeting was “Advancing a Moral Alliance Among the World’s Religions for an Integral Ecology,” using a phrase that Pope Francis coined in a recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. The meeting began with a private audience with His Holiness, Pope Francis, in the Vatican.

His Holiness addressing the Religions for Peace World Council of Religious Leaders and Board of International Trustees in the Vatican


In his address to the Religions for Peace World Council and Board, His Holiness said,

“I express my esteem and appreciation for the work of Religions for Peace. You provide a valuable service to both religion and peace, for religions are bound by their very nature to promote peace through justice, fraternity, disarmament, and care for creation.

There is a need for a common and cooperative effort on the part of religions in promoting an integral ecology. The religions have the wherewithal to further a moral covenant that can promote respect for the dignity of the human person and care for creation.

Thanks be to God, in various parts of the world we have any number of good examples of the power of inter-religious cooperation to oppose violent conflicts, to advance sustainable development and to protect the earth. Let us continue along this path.”

Logos president Helio Fred Garcia meeting His Holiness, Pope Francis at the beginning of the Religions for Peace Board meeting.


The Vatican played a central role in the meeting, through the offices of Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, a part of the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s administrative body.

L to R: Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, Grand Mufti, Uganda Muslim Supreme Council; Cardinal Jean Louise Tauran, President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Vatican; Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad, Dean, Department of Islamic Studies, Academy of Sciences, Iran; Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, UK, Kenya, India.


The two-day meeting featured substantive planning of critical issues to be addressed in the next World Assembly of Religions for Peace, held every seven to nine years, that brings together more than 2,000 religious leaders from all major faith communities in the world.

L to R: Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Trustee, Professor, Columbia University, and Special Advisor, UN Secretary-General on Sustainable Development Goals; Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, Grand Mufti, Uganda Muslim Supreme Council;Bishop Gunnar Stalsett, Bishop Emeritus of Oslow, Church of Norway; Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria; Religions for Peace Secretary General Dr. William Vendley; and Mrs. Christine Brown, Trustee, and Chair, Institute of Healthy Air, Water, and Soil, Louisville, Kentucky.


The planning meeting in mid-October, 2017 included working groups in three separate work streams:

  • Conflict transformation: the use of religious leadership and religious community to stop violence being conducted in the name of religion; to prevent conflicts from occurring in the first place; and to create social conditions for peace and stability in otherwise unstable parts of the world. Religions for Peace acknowledges the reality that religion is all-too-often being misused in support of violent threats to Peace – by extremists, by unscrupulous politicians, by the sensationalist media, and others. Through the years Religions for Peace has amassed a record of successful engagement in a number of conflict areas, including: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Burundi, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the Mano River and Great Lakes African sub-regions, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, and Syria.

    Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad, Dean, Department of Islamic Studies, Academy of Sciences, Iran, denouncing ISIS and others who hijack the identity of Islam to commit violence, and calling for all Islamic leaders to denounce violence in the name of Islam.


  • Sustainable development: equipping religious leaders and communities with the necessary resources and knowledge to address critical issues of health and well-being, education, climate action, and distribution of resources to reveal the potential inherent in all human communities. Extreme poverty threatens peace and human flourishing by depleting health, perpetuating existing inequalities, and jeopardizing access to basic human rights.

Jeffrey Sachs, Trustee, Professor, Columbia University and Special Advisor, UN Secretary-General on Sustainable Development Goals, addressing the challenges of sustainable development.


  • Protecting the earth: addressing climate change, safe drinking water, and other environmental challenges. Religions for Peace is faced with a clear moral imperative to respond to threats to the planet. For the world’s major religions, care for the earth is a religious obligation. Working with top climate scientists and development experts, Religions for Peace has developed and deployed climate sensitive advocacy and action training materials across its global networks as well as implemented multi religious initiatives in partnership with other concerned entities—especially the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Vatican.

Logos President Helio Fred Garcia presenting a strategic path for religious leaders and communities to protect the earth.


Each working group developed a statement of problem, a proposed path forward to engage the world’s religious communities, and actionable steps to take between now and the World Assembly to show the impact that multi-religious cooperation can have on each of these challenges.

L to R Religions for Peace International Co-Moderators, Dr. Vinu Aram, Director, Shanti Ashram, India; Rev. Kosho Niwano, President-Designate, Rissho Kossei-kai, Japan.

These recommendations will now become part of the work coordinated by Religions for Peace’s International Secretariat, based at the United Nations in New York, and will be implemented through the six regional and more than 90 national inter-religious councils in the Religions for Peace network over the next two years. Results from that work will form the policy agenda for tenth World Assembly of Religions for Peace in 2019.

The Religions for Peace World Council of Religious Leaders, Board of International Trustees, and invited civic and foundation leaders, at the American Academy in Rome


The United Nations calls its annual General Assembly meeting a “debate,” but the top world leaders rarely make it look like one. This year was different.

Donald Trump spoke second, the traditional slot for an American president, and set the stage for a real debate about the future of international relations. He ditched words like “cooperation” and “partnership” that were favored by past presidents, according to an exclusive analysis with Bloomberg Politics, and reframed US policy in terms of the “sovereignty” of individual nations.

Trump’s peers on the world stage, the leaders of the other G20 major economies, lashed back. All of them mentioned “internationalism” more than Trump’s “sovereignty” buzzword.

And just two days after her UN speech, one of the G20 leaders had an even bigger task. Theresa May jetted to Florence in an attempt to reclaim her country’s momentum in Brexit negotiations with the EU. A separate Bloomberg analysis shows how the Prime Minister softened her tone from a more confident negotiation kickoff speech in January.

For more, follow @Tiouririne on Twitter.

(Fred teaching)

Logos Consulting Group is pleased to note that Logos President Helio Fred Garcia recently spoke as a guest lecturer at the U.S. Air Force Air War College, part of Air University, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Air War College is the senior U.S. Air Force professional military school. Annually, it prepares about 250 resident and over 5,000 nonresident senior students from all US military services, federal agencies, and 41 nations to lead in the strategic environment.

Garcia spoke on August 15, 2017 under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Leadership Communication Program.

Garcia’s lecture, The Power of Communication as an Instrument of Policy, was based on the principles of his 2012 book, The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively.

Garcia spoke initially to all 250 resident students, mostly U.S. Air Force colonels, plus equivalent ranks from the other U.S. armed services and air force colonels from allied nations.

He later spent time in a number of the students’ cohort groups, ranging from 10 to 20 students each, answering questions and discussing related topics.

Here is segment 1 of the guest lecture, the introduction, where Garcia introduces the topic of leadership and communication:

Here is segment 2, on the application of strategy to communication:

Here is segment 3, on communication and warfighting, based on the adaptation of the U.S. Marine Corps doctrinal publication called Warfighting, which Garcia adapted in his book The Power of Communication:

Here is segment 4, where Garcia lays out a leadership communication planning tool that Logos Consulting Group uses with clients to help them assure that their communication is aligned with strategy and likely to achieve their desired purpose:

In segment 5, his conclusion, Garcia brings together themes from the prior segments and fields questions from the audience:

You can see the complete lecture here:

This was Garcia’s second major presentation to the U.S. Air Force in the past year. In December, 2016, he was the civilian keynote speaker at the U.S. Air Force Global Public Affairs Summit in Washington, DC.

Garcia delivered an equivalent Power of Communication workshop on August 31, 2017 to the U.S. Marine Corps General Officer Warfighting Program at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia.

Garcia has taught and advised elements of the U.S. and allied armed services for 26 years. He has worked primarily with the U.S. Marine Corps, and also with a number of joint commands. He is currently a contract lecturer at the U.S. Defense Information School.



Logos Consulting Group is pleased to announce that Logos president Helio Fred Garcia has been appointed to the faculty of Columbia University.

Effective August, 2017, Fred is an adjunct associate professor teaching in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, also known as Columbia Engineering.  Fred will teach ethics to all 1,500 incoming graduate students through Columbia Engineering’s Professional Development and Leadership program.  Fred’s course will cover the foundations of ethics and ethical decision-making, the evolution of professional ethics in general and ethics in engineering and applied science in particular. He will also cover particular ethical issues in science publishing and in academic settings.

In addition to this course at Columbia Engineering, Fred also teaches ethical decision-making for U.S. military public affairs officers in the Joint Senior Public Affairs Officer course and Joint Intermediate Public Affairs Officer course in the U.S. Defense Information School.

Fred also taught business and communication ethics in New York University for more than 25 years, most recently in the M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication program.  He remains on the NYU faculty, as an adjunct associate professor of management and communication in the M.S. in Public Relations program, and as an adjunct professor of management in the NYU Stern Executive MBA program, where last year he was named Executive MBA Great Professor.

Fred is the second Logos senior staff person to join the Columbia faculty.  Since 2001 Logos Senior Advisor Anthony Ewing has taught a graduate seminar on corporate responsibility at Columbia Law School. Several other Logos senior staff members are frequent guest speakers at Columbia’s Journalism School, Business School, Barnard College, and Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies.

During the 1970s and 1980s Fred was a graduate student at Columbia, where he studied ethics. In 1980 he received an M.A. in Philosophy from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He continued his graduate studies in Greek philosophy at Columbia for several years thereafter.

 (Helio Fred Garcia at the Philosophy Building on the day of his M.A. graduation, May 14, 1980)

Logos Institute is very pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Helio Fred Garcia,The Agony of Decision: Mental Readiness and Leadership in a Crisis, volume 1 of Logos Institute Best Practice Series. The book is also the first volume in our publishing imprint, Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership Press.

The book is now available for purchase here for individual or bulk orders. For a 15 percent discount, use the discount code QW9CFYKM. A Kindle edition is also available here on Amazon.

This book is about how leaders and the organizations they lead can maintain reputation, trust, confidence, financial and operational strength, and competitive advantage in a crisis.

Through Fred’s 30-plus years of professional involvement in thousands of crises affecting companies, governments, NGOs, and other organizations, he has discovered that the real value in resolving crises is not in excellent internal and external communication, nor in highest-quality tactical execution, however important they may be – and they are mighty important.

Rather, real value came from helping clients figure out and answer the bigger questions and then make the tough choices in a timely way. The execution would follow. So would the communication.

But people often misunderstand. That’s why Fred felt the necessity of writing this book — to help leaders think clearly, plan carefully, and execute effectively when facing high-stakes decisions. A wise man once said, the only meaningful way to escape the agony of decision is by thinking.

This book is for leaders of organizations who need to be good stewards of reputation, trust, and competitive advantage; and for those who advise those leaders, whether in public relations, law, or other business disciplines. We hope you find it helpful.

This is the eighth in a series of guest blogs featuring my recently-graduated capstone (thesis) advisees in New York University’s Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communication.

See my earlier posts:

In this blog Yinnan Shen summarizes her capstone on the best blend of charisma and humility to assure success in American presidential politics.

As she shares in her introduction, Yinnan, who did her undergraduate work at Beijing Language and Culture University, came to the United States with an idealized view of American politics. The last presidential election was the first she saw up close.  She chose her capstone topic not only to make sense of this election, but also as an opportunity to dive deeply into American history, politics, and culture in the past 60 years.

While both charisma and humility have been studied extensively, there is very little study of the combination of the two, especially in politics. Her contribution is a good start on a topic that is ripe for continued study: how to balance the seemingly contradictory personality qualities of charisma and humility.

You can download her capstone here.

This week Yinnan starts work as a research analyst at Logos Consulting Group.


Charisma And Humility in Political Leadership

by Yinnan Shen

Yinnan Shen

2016 was a very interesting year for me, a foreigner who has a keen curiosity about American politics, to experience living in the States. I mean the presidential election part.

I arrived assuming that people are all rational, that there should be a rigorous system with a rigorous standard for choosing the president. That voters rationally assess each candidate referring to that standard, checking boxes, to pick the best candidate to become their president. But sorry Adam Smith; we humans don’t actually make rational choices.

Furthermore, the gap between reality and perception also gets in the way of making rational judgments.

That’s why charisma and humility comes into play in political leadership election and retention. Self-identification and emotion are two key drivers of followers in determining whom to vote for. And charisma and humility appeal directly to followers’ self-identification and emotion, affect their decision-making process unconsciously.

Also, charisma and humility are complementary in assessing a political leader. Humility can prevent charismatic leaders from being egocentric, arrogant, or corrupted.

My capstone therefore takes a deep dive into political leaders’ charisma and humility, and their correlation with political election and retention in the United States of America.

The methodology of this research is simple; build the measurements of humility and charisma first, and apply the measurements on candidates of historical presidential election cycles to find the correlations.

Measurements of Charisma and Humility

In the first part of my capstone, I studied theories on defining and measuring charisma and humility in the history, and then defined the two characteristics and identified key components of them based on past research and my own understanding. I developed a 10-item scale of charisma and a 5-item scale of humility.

Charisma definition: a set of extraordinary qualities and behaviors that inspire admiration, loyalty, and devotion among people, and that naturally separate the individual who possess these qualities from average people.

Charisma measurement:

Leader’s behavior and attributes:

  1. An idealized and even prophetic vision. Having a captivating vision that projects an idealized future for the followers is the foremost characteristic of charismatic leaders. The vision that he or she proposes is most likely to be a challenge to the status quo, a promise to change what has been done wrong in the past to actually excite follower’s trust, sense of belonging, and sense of mission.
  2. Articulation. The articulation of the vision is the key to help the vision reach the 
audience. Charismatic leaders are usually seen to be eloquent and persuasive – to be the masters of communications. Additionally, their tone of voice is always found to be captivating and engaging.
  3. Sensitivity to the environment. Charismatic leaders are most likely to rise from chaos or crisis. They tend to catch subtle trends and patterns of the world around us, which enables them to seize and even create opportunities before anyone else even notices. And this is the birth of their visions.
  4. High empathy. To arouse trust and self-identification with the collective, charismatic leaders are able to empathize with each individual’s needs and emotions, which usually results from their genuine interest in people. Charismatic leadership is actually more intuitive and sensitive than other types of leadership.
  5. Bold and unconventional strategies and tactics to achieve the vision. Charismatic leaders’ visions are convincing only when they go hand-in-hand with revolutionary strategies and tactics in the process of vision implementation.
  6. Willingness to take risks. Leaders are usually perceived as charismatic when they show their willingness to take great risks in making choices. The risk can be personal, or it could be a collective risk that helps achieve a greater good or a collective goal. The charismatic leader stands out when no one else is able to make these “scary choices.”
  7. Confidence in him or herself, as well as in followers. Charismatic leaders usually have high self-esteem, but more importantly, in order to arouse followers’ loyalty and devotion, they also have belief /faith in their followers.  They let followers feel well-involved in reaching the collective goal.
  8. A strong will. A strong will is a necessity for charismatic leaders. They usually have an inexorable will to do what they set mind to. And their drive and persistence can have such a strong influence over followers, and make the followers believe that they will definitely achieve their goals.
  9. High level of trust from followers. Followers trust no matter what the leader proposes or says, and have no doubt in the leader’s abilities to reach the desired vision.
  10. Considered a role model by followers. Charismatic leaders are always perceived as a role model who is everything the followers want to be. They are even idolized sometimes, as if they possess some heroic virtues or divine gifts. The followers also highly identify themselves with the leader. It’s a more personal reaction, usually as a consequence of deep connection, trust, and admiration.


Humility definition: a virtue allowing people to have an accurate self-assessment and think less of themselves.

Humility measurement:

  1. Openness. Usually perceived as approachable and able to relate with others, people with humility have the candor to tell the truth, to offer transparency, to open up room for people to get close to them.
  2. Tolerance and forgiveness. An individual with humility is able to listen to contradictory opinions, accept honest advice, appreciate difference, and is open to new ideas. Humility also requires one to not hold too much of a grudge against others, and humble leaders tend to be more understanding than others.
  3. An accurate self-assessment. They usually have an accurate assessment of themselves, including their abilities, strength, and accomplishment. An accurate self-assessment also means that they are able to recognize their mistakes and take responsibility accordingly.
  4. Self-forgetfulness. To have humility, one ought to view him or herself less importantly, which mean they value other people’s inputs, and even put other people’s interests before their own.
  5. Highly secure. Contrary to common knowledge, people with humility actually have high self-esteem and sense of security. They assess themselves and the world precisely, so that other people’s thoughts are less likely to get in the way of making their own choices and their self-assessment. They are also secure enough to show vulnerability, and less likely to exhibit caution and anxiety.

Application on Historical Presidential Election Cycles

In the second part, I studied candidates’ biographies, news reports, opinion polls, speeches, and interviews of the designated political leaders (both the one who won and the one who lost in their respective election cycle). I also conducted in-depth interviews with people who had exclusive insights about those candidates’ personalities,

I applied the measurements on both elected and non-elected candidates in each cycle to grade each candidate’s charisma and humility. For each charisma or humility attribute a candidate exhibited I awarded one point in that respective category.  The results are below, in which the darker colored rows represent the winning candidates.

Conclusions and Guidance on Political Leadership

Using the research results, I drew the four graphs, one per election studied. I took each candidate’s charisma score (x) and humility (y) as this candidate’s coordinate (x, y), and marked it on the corresponding graph. Red dots represent winning candidates and blue dots represent losing candidates.

The blue quarter circle shaded areas were drawn using the radius that equals  the distance from the blue dot to the origin. If we use the linear distance between each dot and the origin, the distance represented by z as a representation of this candidate’s overall performance of charisma and humility, then the blue shaded area means the overall performance of charisma and humility that is less/equal to the losing candidate.

No matter how the x and y varies in each election cycle, the red dots always fall out of the blue shaded areas. That being said, the z value, named as C-H Value, of the winning candidate is always greater than the z value of the losing candidate.

The model implies that political leaders who have a better overall performance of charisma and humility gain more support in political election. It can be applied on any given political candidate, in conjunction with the measurements the capstone created to calculate a candidate’s charisma and humility scores. As long as we have a certain candidate’s charisma score (x) and humility score (y), we’ll be able to calculate his or her C-H Value and compare it to his or her rival’s, in order to have a better understanding of the election result. The model facilitates the interpretation of past election results and helps predict future elections.

#  #  #

Carolina Perez Sanz, recipient of the 2017 Rising Leader Award from the Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership


On Thursday May 18th, Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership hosted one of two inaugural awards ceremonies honoring distinguished leaders in the strategic communication field, consisting of the Rising Leader Award and Outstanding Leader Award.

Carolina Perez Sanz was the 2017 recipient of the Rising Leader Award, with the Outstanding Leader Award ceremony still to come in Fall 2017.

The Rising Leader Award honors new professionals, recent graduates, and students for their extraordinary leadership potential and demonstration of excellence in their work that offers meaningful contributions to the strategic communication profession.

The Outstanding Leader Award honors established industry professionals for their consequential professional achievements that set the aspirational standard for others. The award also recognizes the recipient’s excellence in use of strategic communication to achieve professional or business objectives with substantial and positive results.

Carolina recently graduated from the M.S. program in public relations and corporate communications from New York University’s School of Professional Studies, where she wrote her final capstone on how women in male-dominated professions can become leaders and inspire trust more effectively.

Carolina also completed a PhD in applied linguistics at Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset in Spain. For her PhD, she did extensive research into how female broadcasters use their voices when performing on the air. She is also a certified speech therapist, and writes her own blog, Power at Speech, that focuses on how voice and speech influence the perception of public figures’ personalities. Carolina is currently an  adjunct assistant professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she teaches public speaking.

Please join Logos Institute in congratulating Carolina Perez Sanz for being 2017’s Rising Leader Award recipient! The award presentation was streamed on Facebook Live. To view the archived video, click here.

Stay tuned for further announcements for the Fall 2017 Outstanding Leader Award ceremony.

Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership research fellow Holly Helstrom presented a case study on mental readiness and navigating business challenges to students in New York University’s MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication program. Ms. Helstrom spoke on April 29, 2017 in an advanced elective on crisis communication taught by Logos Institute executive director Helio Fred Garcia.

This seven-Saturday elective course focuses in part on the predictable patterns of poor decision-making business leaders often follow during crises, and how this is commonly the result of leaders’ critical loss of perspective.

Holly Helstrom guest lecturing at NyU

Holly Helstrom guest lecturing at NYU

Ms. Helstrom demonstrated to the students that when leaders and their organizations regularly practice mental readiness — the persistent ability to remain calm, think clearly, and maintain situational awareness — it allows them to avoid or manage through crises successfully, and achieve enduring success.


The focus of Ms. Helstrom’s case study was Pixar Animation Studios, one of the most successful film studios in the industry’s history. She provided an in-depth look at how Pixar’s leaders’ commitment to including the disciplines of mental readiness into everyday business operations has allowed the studio to routinely produce number one films and navigate business challenges successfully.

Ms. Helstrom highlighted some of Pixar’s processes that integrate the disciplines of mental readiness, then illustrated how these processes helped the studio in overcoming one of the most complex and challenging crises a business can face: a corporate merger with Disney.


Ms. Helstrom joined the Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership as a research fellow in 2016. She is lead curator for the institute’s intellectual capital materials, researching and preparing in-depth case studies that bring to life the principles and best practices that comprise Logos Institute’s curriculum.


Prior to working at Logos, Ms. Helstrom worked in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s public relations department. In 2015 she graduated from New York University with a B.A. in art history. Her senior research paper focused on the strategic use of art exhibits in post-war Germany as part of the country’s broader public relations campaign to refurbish its reputation on the international platform, and reunite the war-torn German population.

Last week’s viewers might have felt the president’s inclusiveness, but history will remember his dire warnings.

Ten days before handing the Oval Office keys to a successor famous for his mega-rallies, Barack Obama gathered one last huge crowd of his own. His January 10 farewell address was all about his 20,000 admirers at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

“You made me a better president,” Obama said, “and you made me a better man,” Over the course of his 4,267-word speech – the longest presidential farewell of the broadcast era – he used “you,” “your,” or “yours” 81 times. That’s 19 “you” words per 1,000 total words, besting Ronald Reagan’s 1989 mark of 12 per 1,000.

As with inclusive “we” words (like “we,” “us,” and “ours”), the use of “you” words is a hallmark of effective leadership communication. According to Quantified Communications CEO Noah Zandan, who studies and advises on public speaking, visionary leaders like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg use “you” words 60 percent more often than the average speaker.

More popular presidents use more “you” words, too. Obama reflected the glow of his 56 percent approval rating in the latest Gallup tracking poll, ending a list of accomplishments by telling his audience, “That’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change.”

Reagan, who left office with a 62 percent approval rating and a nickname as “The Great Communicator,” did much the same in his farewell address. “I’ve had my share of victories in the Congress,” he said, “but what few people noticed is that I never won anything you didn’t win for me.” Reagan also laced the speech with vivid portraits of presidential life, putting watching Americans in his shoes. “You spend a lot of time going by too fast in a car someone else is driving, and seeing the people through tinted glass … And so many times I wanted to stop and reach out from behind the glass, and connect. Well, maybe I can do a little of that tonight.”

Among the seven farewell addresses of the broadcast era, there’s a clear correlation between the frequency of “you” words and the president’s final approval rating – tighter than the slightly positive relationship between “we” words and approval, or the slightly negative one between “me” words and approval.

“You” words are likely both a cause and an effect of the public’s thumbs-up. It’s possible that “you” words are a president’s response to high approval, as when Obama said, “You are the best supporters and organizers anyone could hope for, and I will forever be grateful.” Or, “you” words could be a driver of high approval, convincing voters that the president cares about them: “I am asking you to believe,” Obama said, “Not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.” (Obama used the word “change” 14 times in his farewell address, echoing his final State of the Union last year and, most of all, his 2008 campaign.)

However, the part of Obama’s swansong that will most likely capture the attention of 22nd Century historians isn’t his inclusive tone. It’s when he drew on the mother of all precedents, George Washington’s hand-written 1796 farewell letter, to go from eulogy to sermon and back again. Bookended by a list of accomplishments and a list of thanks, Obama devoted the middle 57 percent of his speech to warning of three “threats to our democracy:” Economic inequality, racial division, and political partisanship.

“Democracy does require,” Obama intoned, “a basic sense of solidarity – the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together.” Or, in Washington’s words, “You should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness.”

The similarity wasn’t lost on Obama, who at one point even cited his source. “In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but,” Obama said, quoting Washington, “’from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken … to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth.’”

The most famous phrase of any modern farewell address is a warning, too. Dwight Eisenhower coined the term “military-industrial complex” to warn of runaway defense spending as he left office in 1961.

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