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On February 8, 2021, Helio Fred Garcia spoke with Bill Sherman on his podcast, Leveraging Thought Leadership. During their conversation, Garcia described some of the drivers for trust in the crisis, how he fell into thought leadership, how translates complex ideas for a common understanding, the influence of philosophy on his life and career, and his advice on how people can become thought leaders.

Listen to the full exchange below:

On November 4, the Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership Press published the third title in its Best Practices Series, The Power of Genuine Leadership: How Authentic Leaders Earn Trust by Patrick Donahue, PhD. The Power of Genuine Leadership draws upon Donahue’s doctoral research on the relationship between trust and authenticity, as well as his decades of experience working as a senior executive in leadership development at two global corporations.

The Power of Genuine Leadership is an accessible, clear guide on how to effectively – and measurably – build trust and enhance one’s leadership ability. “It can take a lifetime to earn a reputation of being a great leader, which is earned through consistent behavior over time,” says Donahue. “This book makes a complicated concept easier to digest through models, stories, assessments, and applicable tools.”

Donahue’s research reveals the true power of behavioral consistency as an essential yet under-appreciated driver of trust. His Authenticity Trust Model (ATM) helps readers visualize the relationships among the behavioral components that, when applied consistently, create deeper trust: communication, coaching, and respect.

Of the many valuable learnings in Donahue’s book, perhaps his most insightful, is that authenticity without guidelines is irresponsible; that authenticity without empathy is careless; and that humility is much more than a willingness to be vulnerable. Readers can assess their leadership strengths and development areas using the Authenticity Trust Assessment (ATA), which can be taken time and again to track progress and compare results for deeper analysis.

“With so many books, articles and webpages clamoring for our attention, it’s hard to decide what’s ‘worth the time.’ As a leadership professional, I can tell you, this book is a winner,” says Darryl Spivey of the Center of Creative Leadership. “Dr. Donahue captures the stories of leaders and their impact on people. The engaging anecdotes are entertaining and readable, but interwoven with valuable lessons of introspection, laser focus and excellence. It’s a quick, valuable and important book for leaders.”

The Power of Genuine Leadership is the third volume in the Logos Institute Best Practices Series. The Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership stands at the intersection of scholarship and practice, providing rigorous analysis and practical application of key leadership principles. The Logos Institute Best Practices Series showcases conceptual frameworks that help clarify complex issues, combined with insightful case studies, examples, and actionable tools, tips, and techniques that help leaders make smart choices and build competitive advantage.

“In each of the companies where I have had the privilege to have Patrick as a client, I have watched Patrick as he created leadership learning opportunities for high-potential future leaders from around the world,” says Publisher Helio Fred Garcia. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share Patrick’s insights into the relationship between authenticity and trust with the broader world.”

The Power of Genuine Leadership is available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.com. Logos Institute Press is hosting a virtual book launch event on Thursday, December 10 at 5:00 pm EST, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear from the publisher, the author, and endorsers of the book. If you have not received an invitation or would like to request one, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/logos-institute-press-book-launch-for-the-power-of-genuine-leadership-tickets-129244719435?ref=estwhttps://www.eventbrite.com/preview?eid=129244719435

On November 4, the Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership Press published the third title in its Best Practices Series, The Power of Genuine Leadership: How Authentic Leaders Earn Trust by Patrick Donahue, PhD. The Power of Genuine Leadership draws upon Donahue’s doctoral research on the relationship between trust and authenticity, as well as his decades of experience working as a senior executive in leadership development at two global corporations.

The Power of Genuine Leadership is an accessible, clear guide on how to effectively – and measurably – build trust and enhance one’s leadership ability. “It can take a lifetime to earn a reputation of being a great leader, which is earned through consistent behavior over time,” says Donahue. “This book makes a complicated concept easier to digest through models, stories, assessments, and applicable tools.”

Donahue’s research reveals the true power of behavioral consistency as an essential yet under-appreciated driver of trust. His Authenticity Trust Model (ATM) helps readers visualize the relationships among the behavioral components that, when applied consistently, create deeper trust: communication, coaching, and respect.

Of the many valuable learnings in Donahue’s book, perhaps his most insightful, is that authenticity without guidelines is irresponsible; that authenticity without empathy is careless; and that humility is much more than a willingness to be vulnerable. Readers can assess their leadership strengths and development areas using the Authenticity Trust Assessment (ATA), which can be taken time and again to track progress and compare results for deeper analysis.

“With so many books, articles and webpages clamoring for our attention, it’s hard to decide what’s ‘worth the time.’ As a leadership professional, I can tell you, this book is a winner,” says Darryl Spivey of the Center of Creative Leadership. “Dr. Donahue captures the stories of leaders and their impact on people. The engaging anecdotes are entertaining and readable, but interwoven with valuable lessons of introspection, laser focus and excellence. It’s a quick, valuable and important book for leaders.”

The Power of Genuine Leadership is the third volume in the Logos Institute Best Practices Series. The Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership stands at the intersection of scholarship and practice, providing rigorous analysis and practical application of key leadership principles. The Logos Institute Best Practices Series showcases conceptual frameworks that help clarify complex issues, combined with insightful case studies, examples, and actionable tools, tips, and techniques that help leaders make smart choices and build competitive advantage.

“In each of the companies where I have had the privilege to have Patrick as a client, I have watched Patrick as he created leadership learning opportunities for high-potential future leaders from around the world,” says Publisher Helio Fred Garcia. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share Patrick’s insights into the relationship between authenticity and trust with the broader world.”

The Power of Genuine Leadership is available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.com. Logos Institute Press is hosting a virtual book launch event on Thursday, December 10 at 5:00 pm EST, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear from the publisher, the author, and endorsers of the book. If you have not received an invitation or would like to request one, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/logos-institute-press-book-launch-for-the-power-of-genuine-leadership-tickets-129244719435?ref=estwhttps://www.eventbrite.com/preview?eid=129244719435

  • Media and quote approvals: There’s been an intriguing series of discussions in the New York Times (and Vanity Fair and elsewhere) about the practice of allowing interview subjects to review quotes due to be used in articles prior to print. The Times covered this aspect of political reporting back in July; David Carr explored it more recently in “The Puppetry of Quotation Approval” and in a follow-up article asking participants in the process to weigh in; and then finally on Sept. 20th, the Times issued a new policy that “forbids after-the-fact quote approval.” From our experience, this is a practice that has become somewhat common in the world of financial and business reporting as well (not just relegated to politics), and it will be interesting to see the effects of the Times’ new policy, if any.
  • Distrust in media: A new Gallup poll found that “Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.” As Gallup points out, this lack of trust has particular implications during an election year. (via Romenesko)
  • Fortune 500 and social media: The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research issued its latest report on the use of social media by the Fortune 500, which it’s done every year since 2008. Adoption and range of use continues to grow in this group, and the annual study provides a good comprehensive look at global business adoption of social media.
  • New Pew Internet research: The Pew Internet and American Life Project issued two recent reports of interest, one on smartphone ownership in the United States (they found that “45% of American adults own smartphones”), and one on “Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online.”
  • Cultural critique, Gangnam-style: It’s almost impossible to escape the Internet meme of the late summer/early fall – Gangnam Style, a music video by the South Korean artist Psy that’s overtaken the U.S. and much of the world. But The Atlantic provided one of the more interesting cultural insights into the video in the article “Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea’s Music Video Sensation.”

Teachable moments in communication arrive in many forms.

Take 2 minutes and 8 seconds to witness an act of elegance and meaning.

Start Asking from Ryan Fitzgibbon on Vimeo.

Ryan Fitzgibbon designed the video you just watched to comment on the United States’ progress on civil rights.  I found it during some random Twitter-surfing, and when I first saw it, I said, “Wow! This really speaks to me.” Here’s what resonated: Fitzgibbon took the opportunity to be a provocateur, but in the best way possible. His language and images are spare, but he moves through the difficult issue of prejudice with great sensitivity and impact.

The video succeeds for me because its creator employs most of what I will call the 10 Rules of Communication Elegance:

Rule 1. Aim for elegance. Before you even begin to share your ideas, unpack half of that suitcase of information you’ve brought for the occasion. Make better use of your nucleus of ideas by stripping them down to basics. Yes, simplicity is a baseline requirement for communication. But elegance is even more focused and strategic: it informs simplicity. It not only transmits, it inspires. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you how.

Application: Fitzgibbon packs so much punch in a very short period of time – about the length of a television commercial break. There is no excess information. He pushes us to begin being more tolerant today just by questioning ourselves. He doesn’t download all his knowledge about prejudice and discrimination. He just gives us the stripped-down essentials for immediate action. I found myself asking the questions the video presented.

Rule 2. Punctuate your communications with meaning. Inspiration doesn’t automatically follow the expression of ideas. Inspire others with an act of meaning. That’s how I’m defining elegance: it is simplicity plus meaning. Minds differ on what meaning is, but, for me, it’s working toward a shared good. It’s sharing what I have and what I know to help empower others.

Application: Eliminating prejudice and discrimination is an undeniable collective good. In his video, Fitzgibbon draws us in with an urgent problem and then gives us an immediate tool to deal with it. That call to action is meaningful and gives his communication resonance.

Rule 3. Lead with the dynamic duo–your energy and emotion. The duo also goes by the name passion, and the literature on leadership and public speaking overflows with discussions about it. But the truth remains: With passion, you will connect to others. It is perfectly fine to communicate with structure, strategy and intentionality, but let your energy and emotion seek some entropy, and others will want to follow right along with you.

Application: This video bristles with emotion.  All the usual visual clutter of life has been removed, and we are only able to zoom in on the closed eyes and facial expressions of the people we see. The unsteady camera seems to twitch along with the muscles of the narrators. We may not see into their souls, but we hear the emotion in their voices, we feel the clinched discomfort in their body language, and we sense the urgency of what they are asking. That urgency is contagious.

Rule 4. Develop an authentic point of view and express it in your own way and on your own terms. Your authenticity will influence others to be led by you. Don’t try to be a cover version of someone else. Discussions of authenticity also abound in the literature. Never mind that. Being authentic means being natural, having integrity and always striving to express your best self. It is a fundamental building block of credibility.

Application: Fitzgibbons allows the authenticity of the people in his video to speak directly to us. Through their words and body language, we begin to understand the pain of exclusion and misunderstanding. We believe them.

Rule 5. Mix in some surprise. Surprise scrambles the brain’s thought sequencers temporarily and then facilitates a higher level of learning. It forces people to think of something in a different way. Use some surprise at the beginning of your narrative, and the results may surprise you.

Application: Fitzgibbon’s video does the unexpected. It does not pontificate on a subject that has inspired much pontification. There is no lecture on prejudice before the call to action. There is merely a stream of thought-provoking questions. While they may not be entirely surprising, they are certainly disarming. Fitzgibbon also orchestrates a sense of mystery. Throughout the video, we wonder what our questioners will do next. We wonder when they will open their eyes. What will the great reveal be? Will our eyes open along with theirs?

Rule 6. Add visuals. They provide a concrete picture to which people can relate. They point to a specific example. And images drive learning.

Application: Do we really need to discuss this one? The video has impact because of its spare and stunning visuals.

Rule 7. Tell a story. By all means, make it personal. Real-life vignettes or detailed case studies take statements out of the abstract and ground them with concreteness. Never underestimate the power of storytelling.

Application: Fitzgibbons shows us that meaningful stories don’t have to be long. They just have to be personally compelling.

Rule 8. Signal your critical points of information with numbers. Think “three key takeaways,” “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” and “5 Ways Social Media Can Drive More People to Your Website.” These countable items provide your listeners and viewers with a road map for what comes next. They’ll want to go with you if you let them know where they are going.

Application: So, we see our filmmaker didn’t use this one. Well, I did say he used most of the rules.

Rule 9. Repeat your critical points with nuance. Repetition drives learning, but rote iteration isn’t what I mean. Don’t just repeat. Build on the points you’ve already made. When revisiting key ideas, be sure to add texture, shading and nuance.

Application: Fitzgibbon builds his entire video by repeating his theme. With each new person we see we get a new frame of reference. We are able to see how prejudice is personal in different ways for different people.

Rule 10. The rules provide valuable fundamentals but they do not guarantee success. Applying the rules will make you a good technician. Using them will make you more persuasive. But, you can only become an artisan by repeatedly putting them into practice. Never leave homebase without Rules 1 through 4. And, then, learning how to use Rules 5 through 9 judiciously will take you farther along the path of becoming an elegant communicator.

Application: Obviously, Fitzgibbons has practiced his craft. We thank him for being so elegant in this teachable moment.

Click here for more info about Ryan Fitzgibbon and the making of the video.