Friday, March 29, 2013


“Shark Tank” is a successful television show that counts my dear wife among its ardent viewers. The program's format pits an entrepreneur looking for financial backing against a panel of four businesspeople who have cash to lend IF they are impressed with the pitch. On any given evening it is even more exciting than “The Bachelor”.

Ever since “Jaws” swam towards us from the movie screens in 1976, I've had an aversion to being in any water where sharks may be on the prowl. Because this certainly includes my present abode in sunny Florida, it seemed prudent to read up on sharks and how they operate. Recent television newscasts showing thousands and thousands of them migrating close by our shoreline was an added incentive.

Conventional wisdom is that sharks in these waters are “spinners” or “black tips” and not a threat to swimmers. Authorities have the stats from 1882 to this year proving that no one has been killed down here by a shark. Bitten or nipped yes, but not killed. This data is but marginal comfort to me.

In the land-based marketplaces where you earn your paycheck, there are also sharks. Learn about them. Here too they may not kill you outright but they can still nip and bruise you. What is their M.O.?  How do they maneuver within the company or outside with clients? You can tell a lot by observing their body language and how they relate to others.

It's always best to keep your eyes and ears open when you're in the water. And in the meetings too.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


We all know what makes a good leader. Right? Well, maybe yes or maybe no. 

Books written about leaders and leadership are all over the lot. On top of that, many of us have gone through “leadership schools” during military time or in the corporate world – some have experienced both disciplines. In every case personal communications is the foundation of leadership. Beyond broad principles let me suggest that the devil is in the details. We too often overlook the basics because we assume that we already know them and worse, think we consistently practice them. 

Let's review the things that are important to others – that is, to the men and women you are hoping will follow your lead. 

At first glance what we see dominates. The man or woman in a leadership role has to look the part by being well-groomed and well-mannered. The setting for your talks is an important influence of course, but your own unique style and good manners will dominate. So be your own best self. What appeals to their eye is simultaneously impacted by the sound of your spoken word. That voice has to project confidence. There is no one single way to dress or to speak so that others will listen. Effective communications combinations are endless. While you may not know exactly how a leader will be looking or sounding at any given time, you know the sight and sound of leadership when you see and hear it; so does your audience be it one or many. 

Now comes the key ingredient – a well thought out, properly rehearsed message. At ALL times your listeners are asking themselves “what's in it for me?” This is where Barbara Szala and the In-Person Communications professional staff can assist you in determining your own best personal style and approach as you convey important messages. Trust me, they know what they are doing and have assisted leaders a thousand and more times. Most importantly, they are light years ahead in objectivity from those you work with or the permanently-puckered lips of assistants on your payroll. In-Person Communications professionals have only one mission – to help you attain your objective. 

The next time you have to go into the lion's den, plan ahead. In-Person Communications is just a phone call (201 664-1955) or a click away (