Tag Archives: leadership

10 rules for crisis management

We are often asked advice about our rules of communications during a crisis. It is best if organizations plan for crises before they hit as a little bit of preparation will pay off ten-fold. Here are 10 rules CG&A COMMUNICATIONS promotes to assist with crisis management:

1. Write it down! Before a crisis occurs, draw up and distribute a comprehensive crisis communications plan. Always have a plan on paper.
2. Know who will speak. Designate a small list of possible spokespersons and ensure they have training to give media interviews. The objective in responding during a crisis is to have a single voice, not a chorus.
3. Organize yourself. Establish internal communications lines to ensure fast, accurate information when a crisis does occur. Prepare a list of inside and outside people to inform of a crisis. And, ensure all employees know where to direct media inquiries.
4. Make good first impression. When the issue breaks, there must be an immediate meeting with senior management to determine the stance to take with the public. You have two critical hours to effectively respond. Your challenge is to define the issue accurately, deploy constantly changing tactics, and anticipate reactions.
5. Prepare for media. Spend time briefing designated spokesperson(s) and ensure message lines are tight and clear.
6. Be pro-active. Get out in front of the issue/event and make a public statement. No comment is no response and silence is anything but golden.
7. Keep everyone in-the-know. Remember to keep your own house informed. Distribute statement to staff and other key people.
8. Keep the channel(s) to media open. The media must know who the spokespersons are. An inquiry number should be made available to send and receive messages. In a crisis, it is essential that you are honest, accessible, and forthcoming.
9. Always stay ahead of the issue. If the crisis is on-going, release periodic statements or hold periodic media briefings/news conferences.
10. Never follow a list of ten golden rules. Each crisis is unique and requires special tactics to ensure the issues are dealt with effectively. Do not limit your options in answering to your crisis. A creative, pro-active plan is your best offense.



Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Rudy Giuliani’s thoughts on leadership

Through this past week, By George has tweeted many quotes and insights relating to leadership. To follow up on our Twitter activity at @ByGeorgeJournal, here are six principles of crisis leadership from Rudy Giuliani, a man who has provided this world with a demonstrative definition of leadership. Giuliani’s six principles:

1. Have a Vision – having a plan and the ideas to make it a reality are the most important qualities a leader can have. You cant lead other people unless you stand for something.

2. Be an Optimist – When people follow, what theyre following are hopes, dreams, fulfillment of dreams. Theyre following solutions to problems.

3. Have Courage – Courage is managing fear. Its not the absence of fear.

4. Put in Hard Work – Hard work doesnt necessarily mean putting in long hours it means relentless preparation. Whatever the undertaking, you need to put the time into thinking through its every facet and the consequences of taking different routes. Relentless preparing for whats expected will help solve problems when faced with the unexpected.

5. Understand the Value of Teamwork – Learning how to compensate for your own deficiencies through teamwork is the mark of a successful leader. If you can figure out what those things are that you dont do well and you can get people to balance them with their strengths, your organization just got better.

6. Be a Communicator – You have to be able to get your ideas from you to other people a leader has to be able to teach the plan to other people.


By George Journal is posting a series of instructive articles entitled “#onwardupward” to help us all prepare for our post-Labour Day challenges. Look for daily articles through the up-coming weeks – and a special feature on this series on the holiday weekend.

(ed. – This article first appeared in the BGJ in Fall 2009.)



31 traits of great leaders


Industrialist Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest man on the planet in the early 20th century and was a student of what it takes to achieve greatness. In 1908, he met with the journalist Napoleon Hill who collected and edited notes from initial conversations with Carnegie. In 1948, Hill published “Think Your Way to Wealth” which was based on Carnegie’s beliefs that successful leaders exemplify a set of specific traits.

Here is a summary of the 31 traits Carnegie identified with great leaders.


1. They have a definite purpose and a definite plan for attaining it. Great leaders are always working toward an overarching goal.
2. They have a motive that continuously drives them. “Nothing great is ever achieved without a definitive motive.”
3. They surround themselves with talented people who share their vision.
4. They are able to be self-reliant.
5. They have intense self-discipline.
6. They are persistent.
7. They are creative. “Able leaders must be eternally seeking new and better ways of doing things. They must be on the lookout for new ideas and new opportunities to attain the object of their labors.”
8. They are decisive. It’s dangerous to be impulsive, but it is better to make an imperfect decision than none at all.
9. They collect all possible facts before making judgments.
10. They are enthusiastic.
11. They are fair.
12. They have an open mind. “The man with a closed mind does not inspire the confidence of his associates. Without confidence great leadership is an impossibility.”
13. They go beyond what is required of them.
14. They are tactful.
15. They listen more than they speak.
16. They pay attention to detail.
17. They are determined.
18. They can take criticism. “Bigness overlooks the smallness of criticism and carries on.”
19. They know when to restrain themselves.
20. They are loyal.
21. They know when to speak frankly.
22. They understand others’ motivations.
23. They are exceptionally likable.
24. They are focused. “Concentrated effort gives one power that can be attained in no other way.”
25. They learn from mistakes.
26. They assume responsibility for the mistakes of their subordinates.
27. They recognize the achievements of others.
28. They treat others the way they would like to be treated.
29. They are optimistic.
30. They assume responsibility for the actions of their entire team.
31. They are able to act without being guided by emotion.


To read more on this list, click to the full article in the Financial Post Business.

Also, here is another post regarding Andrew Carnegie’s wisdom in the By George Journal: “Carnegie’s 10 Rules of Success

14 Habits of Exceptionally Likable People


Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) was an American author, one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, it had sold 20 million copies). Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success.

In his works, Hill denoted 14 habits of people who are so likable that others go out of their way to help them. Here are those habits of exceptionally likeable people:

1. They develop a positive mental attitude and let it be seen and felt by others. Those who choose to be positive set themselves up for success and have better reputations.

2. They always speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone. The best communicators speak deliberately and confidently, which gives their voice a pleasing sound.

3. They pay close attention to someone speaking to them.

4. They are able to maintain their composure in all circumstances. “Remember that silence may be much more effective than your angry words.”

5. They are patient. “Remember that proper timing of your words and acts may give you a big advantage over impatient people.”

6. They keep an open mind. Those who close themselves off from certain ideas and associate only with like-minded people are missing out on not only personal growth but also opportunities for advancing their careers.

7. They smile when speaking with others.

8. They know that not all their thoughts need to be expressed. The most likable people know that it’s not worth offending people by expressing all their thoughts, even if they happen to be true.

9. They don’t procrastinate.

10. They engage in at least one good deed a day. The best networkers help other people out without expecting anything in return.

11. They find a lesson in failure rather than brood over it. “Express your gratitude for having gained a measure of wisdom, which would not have come without defeat.”

12. They act as if the person they are speaking to is the most important person in the world.

13. They praise others in a genuine way without being excessive.

14. They have someone they trust point out their flaws.
Read more in the Business Insider:

12 great quotes on leadership

  • If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. — Peter. F Drucker
  • Great leadership is about human experiences. It’s not a formula or a program. It is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine — Lance Secretan
  • Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. ― James C. Collins
  • A leader’s most powerful ally is his or her own example. ― John Wooden
  • Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems. — Brian Tracy
    People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. — John C. Maxwell
  • Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. — Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. — Rosalynn Carter
  • The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. ― Ronald Reagan
  • You teach what you know; you reproduce what you are. – Leif Hetland
  • The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. — Theodore Roosevelt

On Values of Entrepreneurship

Surfing this morning, we came across an excellent article in our LinkedIn feed. The post25 Quotes From Experts on the Science of Entrepreneurship provides wonderful insight into the core values and beliefs that business people should hold.

Author Alexander Kesler shares sage advice that covers five major entrepreneurial topics: time management, communication, delegation, sales, and driving vision. Being most interested in advocacy skills, we have reposted below the thoughts on communication and vision.


  • “If you have nothing to say, say nothing.” – Mark Twain
  • “Open, honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship, but remember that at the end of the day it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most.” – Tony Hsieh
  • “Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.” – James Thurber
  • “Really pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends. …Hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.” – Elon Musk
  • “Practicing proper communication skills is key to creating a business that functions as a coherent organism; not doing so leaves the business a scattered mess.” – Alexander Kesler


  • “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg
  • “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” – Phil Libin
  • “No one is less ready for tomorrow than the person who holds the most rigid beliefs about what tomorrow will contain.” – Watts Wacker
  • “You have to find a way to keep track of all your thoughts and tasks. For me Wunderlist is a key tool for this. I try to go through all my entries in my Wunderlist at least once a week in the morning hours in order to prioritize or delegate tasks. I track new tasks, ideas, and also comments from my team directly in my Wunderlist, should I be working on something different that moment. As such I can continue to focus on what I was doing before the interruption”. – Christian Plagemann
  • “Always take time to reflect on the day or what’s to come. Some call it meditating or praying. However you label it, it’s during these quiet times that you can really meld vision and purpose.” – Charles Cantu


To read the article in its entirety, click here: “25 Quotes From Experts on the Science of Entrepreneurship

To connect with By George on LinkedIn, click here: Chris George on LinkedIn

In praise of listening

Robert Nardelli – Founder, Chairman & CEO at XLR-8 – recently shared in a LinkedIn article the best advice he was ever given that helped advance his career. The advice came from his former boss and mentor, the legendary Jack Welsh.

And what were the words of wisdom that made all the difference in his life and career? Simple: Keep listening. Keep learning. And remember.

In greater detail, here is what Robert Nardelli learned. In his words:

1. Listen much more than you talk. This may seem counter-intuitive (how can you ask questions and seek out new answers if you don’t keep asking questions?), but it’s not. Ask what you’d like to know, and then be quiet. It’s easy to have a rapid-fire list of questions, but people tend to talk less when they know you aren’t really listening, but instead are lining up the next question. I love the quote, “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply.”

2. Don’t be too selective. Don’t seek out people who are just like you, even though that’s your natural inclination. The wider the range of people you engage, the more you’ll learn and grow.

3. If you want the real story, ask the people who actually do the work. I realize I’m characterized by most employees as a “corporate suit,” so I’m certainly not looking in any way to denigrate our leadership teams. That said, one of the best ways to learn a company’s challenges and get a feel for the culture is to talk with the employees who deal with customers every day. As wise business author Gary Heil told me, “The front line never lies.”

4. Remember what you learned. Seeking advice is of little value if you don’t make use of it – and you can’t do that unless you remember it. If you’re one of those people who is not gifted with a “steel trap” type of memory, find a way to quickly and easily create some record of the ideas and advice you garner. Thankfully, smart phones are great for this. Whether you record a message to yourself, write yourself a note or send yourself an e-mail, capture what you’ve learned.

To read Robert Nardelli’s full account, click here: Best advice: Listen, learn, lead.

12 Quotes on Leadership

A dozen quotes to inspire leaders:

  1. “Leadership is an action, not a position.” – Donald McGannon
  2. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
  3. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis
  4. “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf
  5. “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  6. “You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” – Ken Kesey
  7. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” – Andrew Carnegie
  8. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  9. “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.” – Jim Rohn
  10. “Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” – Margaret Wheatley
  11. “Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.”- Reed Markham
  12. “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.” – Seth Godin


Rudy Giuliani’s thoughts on leadership

From the man who has provided this world with a living and breathing definition of leadership, here are Rudy Giuliani’s six principles of crisis leadership.

1.  Have a Vision – having a plan and the ideas to make it a reality are the most important qualities a leader can have. You can’t lead other people unless you stand for something.
2.  Be an Optimist – When people follow, what they’re following are hopes, dreams, fulfillment of dreams. They’re following solutions to problems.
3.  Have Courage – Courage is managing fear. It’s not the absence of fear.
4.  Put in Hard Work – Hard work doesn’t necessarily mean putting in long hours it means relentless preparation. Whatever the undertaking, you need to put the time into thinking through its every facet and the consequences of taking different routes. Relentless preparing for what’s expected will help solve problems when faced with the unexpected.
5.  Understand the Value of Teamwork – Learning how to compensate for your own deficiencies through teamwork is the mark of a successful leader. If you can figure out what those things are that you don’t do well and you can get people to balance them with their strengths, your organization just got better.
6.  Be a Communicator – You have to be able to get your ideas from you to other people a leader has to be able to teach the plan to other people.

An Enlightened View of Leadership and Success

He would have been 101 today… Here is renown basketball coach John Wooden’s twelve lessons in leadership:

  • Good values attract good people
  • Love is the most powerful four-letter word
  • Call yourself a teacher
  • Emotion is your enemy
  • It takes 10 hands to make a basket
  • Little things make big things happen
  • Make each day your masterpiece
  • The carrot is mightier than the stick
  • Make greatness attainable by all
  • Seek significant change
  • Don’t look at the scoreboard
  • Adversity is your asset

Now, on this his birth date, take a few minutes to review John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: http://i.imgur.com/QtjuY.jpg

In his own words, Wooden sums up the meaning of success: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

Certainly, John Wooden has provided us all with timeless advice.  Here’s to remembering a great man…