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Culture gone awry: How global finance lost its footing

When an event as catastrophic as the financial crisis occurs, it is our responsibility to understand what went wrong. Apart from the process of ascribing blame is the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake: to understand, to learn, and to grow as a society. The day after Lehman Brothers shuttered its doors, on September […]

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What happened to the hubris of market rallies?

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) set a new record high, closing the day at 14,253.77. Only four years ago this March, the market hit bottom during the financial crisis, closing at 6,547.05. It was the market’s lowest level in twelve years, and those forfeited market gains became known as the lost decade […]

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The power of micro-messages and micro-inequities

As a communication professional who worked in financial services during the crisis, I reflect more on the things we did not say to customers in those dark days than what we did say. While the market fell in 2008, remarkably few voices in the financial industry offered caring and compassionate advice to traumatized investors. In […]

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Return on community & the clothesline paradox

Return on community (ROC) is the brainchild of Tony Hsieh [pronounced “Shay”], the CEO of Zappos, and author of Delivering Happiness. When Mr. Hsieh and his team decided to establish a corporate campus to house the company’s three buildings and provide room to grow, he selected an urban setting instead of an isolated corporate campus. […]

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Create more value than you capture

This phrase became a company motto at O’Reilly Media in 2008, largely in response to the tremendous amount of value that left our economy during the financial crisis. Five years later, Tim O’Reilly advocates for this principle every chance he gets while applying it to emergent trends, such as the Sharing Economy. Since 2011, I’ve […]

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Why every leader needs a personal credo

A credo is a statement of personal belief.   In a world of competing perspectives, we each represent something distinct that is born from our values and communicated through our actions. If we’re not careful, the push and pull of others’ opinions and divergent motives can impede our ability to listen to the voice inside. Over […]

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How to create an authentic online community

This Q & A with Jay Daughtry illuminates the powerful role of trust in online communities. As a society, we often spend more time nurturing relationships online than with the person living next door. Consequently, online communities have become central hubs for sharing ideas, aspirations, and values. I met Jay on Twitter, and through a […]

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Leadership lessons from the financial crisis

“As a student of history, I am always fascinated by how we arrived where we are. It is both a discovery and a lesson to study the events, the circumstances, and the external and internal factors that created wherever it is we find ourselves today.” Mark Emmert, NCAA President When it comes to the financial […]

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Overcoming cynicism: A management challenge

According to Gallup’s polls, Americans have never been less trusting of institutions. Although the culprits are too vast to name, today’s bleak environment for trust has a direct impact on leaders. Events outside the workplace shape employees’ mindsets and influence their propensity to trust co-workers and managers. Because the social and political events that form […]

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Three great moments in communication from 2012

Ever since oil spewed out of a well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and insensitivity poured out of a CEO, business leaders have learned what not to say in a crisis. Two years earlier, when the stock market hit rock bottom during the financial crisis, communications were equally ineffective. The great investment […]

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