One fellow speaker, and now friend is Helio Fred Gardcia.
I met Fred initially at a conference in Stresa on the Italian lakes and then reconnected a few years later in Kampala, Uganda last month.
I won’t spoil the secret of what Fred does with a lemon in his talks, but only to say he is a great speaker, has a powerful intellect, and is an all-round good guy.
He also inspired me to adapt in my recent talk in Uganda an adage by military strategy Clausewitz, that ‘Creativity was thinking by other means’.
Our lives had an even earlier parallel: I discovered I have even stayed in the small village where Fred lives in upper state New York in 1978; I had hitch-hiked across the United States as a student, and stayed with an old College mate at his parents’ house – a small world.
I have had a further pleasure in reading his latest work ‘The Power of Communication’.
Here’s my review:
The need for leaders to harness and manage effective communications is a surprisingly neglected area in public relations texts.
Fortunately, Helio Fred Garcia addresses this lacuna with an immensely powerful sledgehammer of case studies, insightful deconstruction and valuable tips, processes and ways of doing to offer a what, how and why on the power of communications.
This is a must-read for any public relations practitioners who pride themselves on providing effective counsel. For leaders it delivers must-not-ignore lessons on the need to appreciate how communications works and the need to listen to wise PR advice.
The book cleverly interweaves lessons from Helios’ work with the US Marines and his discovery of their ‘Warfighting’ manual along with inspiration from his strategic muse, the Prussian military strategist Clausewitz all inter-woven with detailed appraisals of modern PR disasters and coups including the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, President Obama’s diluted healthcare reforms through to McDonalds announcing a new CEO within 90 minutes of announcing the passing of the previous incumbent.
‘Discover skills to build trust, inspire loyalty and lead effectively’ proclaims the book’s dustcover – and this is one text that indeed does what it says on the tin