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Leadership Under Attack

Temin Client Letter

Temin and Company's Summer Client Letter - just issued - focuses on: Leadership Under Attack – Escalating Crisis and Reputation Challenges in the Age of Social Media. Please click below to see the entire letter, as sent this week to clients and friends.

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If you'd like to read the full article, please click here (PDF).»

Your Foundation in Crisis: Will You Be Ready?

Philanthropy New York, June 18, 2013

Crisis is turning into the "new normal" for most organizations and corporations in this post-recession era. And foundations are as vulnerable and prone to crisis as public companies and universities, particularly in the age of social media. In this piece for Philanthropy New York's Smart Assets blog, Davia Temin writes about the recent "crisis case" seminar she led for foundation executives. [...read more]

Boards Coming Up Short on Crisis Management

Marcy Syms and Davia Temin, Agenda, June 10, 2013

Corporate boards are facing crises of a magnitude never before seen, with even the most experienced board directors finding themselves ill-prepared for crisis. Therefore, how boards respond to such events speaks volumes about the character and culture of the organizations they lead. In this Agenda article, Davia Temin – along with co-author Marcy Syms, former CEO of Syms Corporation – outlines several steps boards can take to set the right tone for management and help mitigate risk when crisis hits.

If you'd like to read the full article, please click here (PDF).»

When Is An Apology NOT An Apology? New Lessons From Abercrombie & Fitch

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, May 17, 2013

You know when your spouse does something really bad, and knows he or she needs to apologize, but doesn't really want to? And you know how the way he puts it is often something like: "Oh, dear, I'm so sorry that you feel that way" or "it's too bad that you have gotten so upset"? And you know how you feel after he says it – even angrier still.

An apology that is not an apology is enraging. It takes no responsibility for the action that prompted the apology. It has no sense of mea culpa, or remorse, but rather seems to transfer the blame to you – sorry YOU got upset, not sorry that I did something to upset you. In a marriage, too many of those, and you are headed to divorce court. In a friendship, that way lays "unfriending."

And so, here we go again. Given the groundswell of anger that has escalated since my last column on Abercrombie & Fitch on Monday the 13th , and the rebirth of its CEO's incendiary comments in an interview in Salon 7 years ago on not wanting the un-thin, the un-young, or the un-beautiful to wear A&F clothes, finally the company realized that they had to do something. [...read more]

How A CEO Can Wreck A Brand In One Interview: Lessons From Abercrombie & Fitch Vs. Dove

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, May 13, 2013

The power of a CEO to make – or break – a brand can never be overestimated – even in an interview that took place 7 years ago.

That is just what has happened in the case of Abercrombie & Fitch: an incredibly ill-advised interview that A&F CEO Mike Jeffries granted to Salon Magazine in 2006 has just found new life on the internet. And if his comments – including that he only wants the young, beautiful and thin to wear his clothes – were insensitive and politically incorrect THEN, today they are practically an invitation to riot. Certainly, they are causing a boycott in real time. [...read more]

What Does it Take to be Resilient?

Suzanne Oaks, Corporate Board Member, May 9, 2013

Resilience and the boardroom: what does it take to think long-term in a world focused on quarterly results? WomenCorporateDirectors Global Institute challenges director thinking on earnings reports, consumer behavior, innovation, crisis management, and a host of global issues facing companies today. [...read more]

It Takes a Lot of Coughing to Go Viral -- How I Reached My First 1,000 Twitter Followers

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, April 15, 2013

Virality is the Holy Grail of Both Corporate and Personal Social Media.

We all want to fashion that one perfect tweet or post that will circumnavigate the globe in minutes or days, and will boost our number of followers and “klout” score to the stratosphere. We want to build our brand and reputation. But the public is fickle, and what captures its imagination, much less goes viral, one day might not the next. [...read more]

Calling all Global CEOs -- Have You Signed the UN Women's Empowerment Principles Yet?

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, March 11, 2013

The UN is putting its muscle behind changing the game for global women, and is asking companies around the world to follow suit.

There has been so much talk, but so little action – around women’s leadership, gender equality, and curtailing violence against women. This year, however, efforts seem to be more serious, possibly fueled on the humanitarian front by such horrendous examples of violence around the world, and on the business front by Catalyst’s latest report detailing just how badly women’s progress in business has stalled (for at least 7 years, on boards, in top leadership, and in the highest paying corporate jobs.) [...read more]

Snowstorm Crisis Lessons: Eight Steps for Maintaining Trust During Natural Disasters

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, February 8, 2013

Snowstorms and other natural disasters have been the undoing of mayors and governors for decades.

From Michael Dukakis, governor of Massachusetts in the '70s and '80s, to Michael Bloomberg's absence in a December 2011 snowstorm, when municipal leaders don't anticipate, lead through, and follow up immediately after storm crises, their reputations can take severe hits.

Responsibility without authority is one of the worst situations a leader can face, they say in the military. And, if you think about it, snowstorms and other acts of God are the epitome of responsibility without authority. The leader has responsibility, but a lot of the authority is in the hands of nature.

How can leaders prove their mettle – or salt – as Blizzard Nemo hits today, and over the weekend? Here are eight suggestions, culled from years of crisis (man-made and God-made) advisory work. [...read more]

Reputation Trumps All -- Define Your Brand and Live It in the New Year, and Beyond

Reputation Matters, Forbes, January 2, 2013

After a year of such spectacular reputation failures, it’s about time that we all paid some concerted attention to our own reputations, both personal and corporate.

Whether it was Joe Paterno, Apple Maps, or Congress acting irresponsibly in the face of a "fiscal cliff," when a person or organization acts inconsistently with their established "brand," what they have promised, or how the world sees them, that tarnish doesn't wear off quickly. In fact it can redefine them because today as always, reputation trumps all. [...read more]

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