Synopses & Reviews
“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.”
--Professor 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
Communication is the absolutely indispensable leadership discipline. But too often leaders and professional communicators get mired in tactics and fail to influence public attitudes in the ways that would help them most. The Power of Communication is the solution. World-renowned leadership communication expert Helio Fred Garcia builds on the U.S. Marine Corps’ legendary publication Warfighting, showing how to apply the Corps’ proven leadership and strategy doctrine in all forms of public communication--and achieve truly extraordinary results.
Garcia demonstrates how to orient on audiences, recognize their most critical concerns, and successfully communicate on three levels: strategic, operational, and tactical. You’ll learn how to take the initiative and control the agenda...respond to events with speed and focus...use the power of maneuver...prepare and plan...and put it all together, becoming a “habitually strategic” communicator.
Communication has power, but, as with any powerful tool, it needs to be used effectively or it can cause significant self-inflicted harm. You’ll learn specific, indispensable lessons of leaders communicating effectively, including Apple’s Steve Jobs and the McDonald’s board, as well as from catastrophic mistakes of business and political leaders who got it wrong, from BP’s Tony Hayward to the HP board to FEMA.
If you need to win hearts and minds, you need The Power of Communication--and you need it now.
- Words matter: taking language seriously as a leadership discipline
Adapt language to changing circumstances and to the reactions they generate
- Words aren’t enough
Learn how what a leader says sets expectations, but what a leader does determines whether trust rises or falls
- Take your audience seriously
Connect with your audiences as living, breathing entities
- Speed, focus, and capturing the first mover advantage
Define your situation, motives, and actions--before someone else does
- Saying it isn’t enough
Master the bearing, physicality, and stagecraft of successful public leadership
- Audiences, attention, and retention
Learn how hearts and minds work--and get them to work together for you
Communication is the absolutely indispensable leadership discipline. But, too often, leaders and professional communicators get mired in tactics, and fail to influence public attitudes in the ways that would help them the most. The Power of Communication builds on the U.S. Marine Corps' legendary publication Warfighting, showing how to apply the Corps' proven leadership and strategy doctrine to all forms of public communication — and achieve truly extraordinary results. World-renowned leadership communications expert, consultant, and speaker Helio Fred Garcia reveals how to orient on audiences, recognizing their centers of gravity and most critical concerns. You'll learn how to integrate and succeed with all three levels of communication: strategic, operational, and tactical. Garcia shows how to take the initiative and control the agenda… respond to events with speed and focus… use the power of maneuver… prepare and plan… and put it all together, becoming a "habitually strategic" communicator.
About the Author
For more than 30 years Helio Fred Garcia
has helped leaders build trust, inspire loyalty, and lead effectively. He is a coach, counselor, teacher, writer, and speaker whose clients include some of the largest and best-known companies and organizations in the world.
Fred is President of the crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group and Executive Director of the Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership. He is based in New York and has worked with clients in dozens of countries on six continents.
Fred has been on the New York University faculty since 1988 and has received his school’s awards for teaching excellence and for outstanding service. He is an adjunct professor of management in NYU’s Stern School of Business Executive MBA program and an adjunct associate professor of management and communication in NYU’s Master’s in PR/Corporate Communication program. Fred is also on the adjunct faculty of the Starr King School for the Ministry-Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he teaches a seminar on religious leadership for social change. And he is on the leadership faculty of the Center for Security Studies of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where he teaches in the Master’s in Advanced Studies in Crisis Management and Security Policy. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and Officer Candidate School, the Brookings Institution, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and other institutions.
Fred is coauthor (with John Doorley) of Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication (second edition 2011; first edition 2007), by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. His two-volume book Crisis Communications was published by AAAA Publications in 1999. He blogs at www.logosinstitute.net/blog; he tweets at twitter.com/garciahf.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Leadership, Discipline, and Effective Communication xxv
PART I: Leadership and Communication: Connecting with Audiences
Chapter 1: Words Matter 1
Chapter 2: Taking Audiences Seriously 23
Chapter 3: Words Aren’t Enough 55
Chapter 4: Speed, Focus, and the First Mover Advantage 75
Chapter 5: Initiative, Maneuver, and Disproportionality 105
PART II: Strategy and Communication: Planning and Execution
Chapter 6: Goals, Strategies, and Tactics: Preparing and Planning 123
PART III: Building Skills: Getting Good at Communicating Well
Chapter 7: Performance: The Physicality of Audience Engagement 159
Chapter 8: Content: Word Choice, Framing, and Meaning 185
Chapter 9: Audiences: Attention, Retention, and How Hearts and Minds Work 207
Chapter 10: Putting It All Together: Becoming a Habitually Strategic Communicator 233
Appendix: Warfighting Principles for Leadership Communication 251