I have had the privilege of interacting with the world’s most prominent CEOs. They, and most of the other Chairmen I’ve encountered professionally and socially, do not find it “lonely at the top.” They do find good counsel rare at the top.
The absence of good counsel in communications has brought down any number of Chairmen and Presidents. Tony Hayward of BP is but the latest example. Whatever your opinion of Patty Dunn, Dick Fuld, Carly Fiorina, Mark Hurd, Rick Smith (GM) and others, there have been errors of conduct and performance compounded by poor communications, but also of relatively minor or transient issues turned fatal by poor communications.
I’ve spent over twenty years studying top communications people (and those who purport to be or hold titles that should make them so). Through this, I’ve developed unique insight into why those in this role so often fail to deliver on its promise, and those who instead make the equation work.
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