Monday, 16 January 2012

HOW TO GIVE A BETTER SPEECH THAN OBAMA and change your world - (A Leader's Media Mess) Darren Kelly, Kellcomm, Blog - Day 56


In 2008, Bear Stearns CEO, Alan Schwartz appeared on CNBC to dent a claim that the bank had a liquidity problem. Its stock was down 17% over the previous five trading sessions, and a rumour stated that Goldman Sachs was about to abandon Bear Stearns. If the rumour was true, it would tell the world that Bear Stearns trading partner did not respect its ability to trade.

Alan Schwartz had two choices. He could hide and let the rumour grow or he could defend his company’s reputation and reassure the market of its liquidity. What happened was an example of how a leader can help destroy his career and his company through poor communication.

Schwartz’s responses to CNBC’s David Faber’s questions were full of “em’s” and “eh’s,” and he used the words “not aware” twice. He showed investors and the media that he wasn’t really on top of things. His leader’s role that day was to instil confidence in everyone around him. Schwartz failed to calm the storm and his poor communication skills only led to further problems for Bear Stearns. The end was near for the 85-year-old investment bank.

In Schwartz’s defence, he may say that Faber’s leading question came from a rumour from an unnamed source. He could say that the information should not have been used to ask a leading question. However, I noticed from the video that Schwartz did not appear in the CNBC studio. He did not do the interview in Bear Stearns headquarters either. He did it live from Palm Beach, Florida. Was that a wise thing to do when his investors, staff and the media were looking for answers to the speculation and fear?

There is a lot more to appearing in the media than just turning up and being you. You must learn from a coach that understands the media and the world of business. Don’t make the mistake or your career could suffer?

Tomorrow, I will reveal what I believe was the reason Tony Hayward became a PR disaster for BP.

Take care,


PS: 'HOW TO GIVE A BETTER SPEECH THAN OBAMA and change your world' - is available on iTunes and Amazon NOW!
Audio Version only.
Text version out January 31st.

Kellcomm, Princes Exchange, Princes Square,Leeds, LS1 4HY, United Kingdom

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