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Temin and Co.

Thought Leadership

How NOT To Handle A Crisis: XO Communications' Monumental Fail

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, September 7, 2013

We're a small business. They tell us that we are the backbone of the American economy. What do we need to compete and win at this challenging moment in time? (And they are all challenging of course.) Wonderful, smart people? Check. A valuable, viable business proposition and a record of success? Check. A profound care for our clients and an indefatigable work ethic? Check. A great website, superb intellectual capital, a highly responsive, real-time communications strategy? Check, check, check.

And a reliable, customer-friendly Internet Service Provider to host our email and point folks to our website? NO CHECK!

In fact, our ISP — one that specializes in small businesses — has had three systemic outages in 2 months, leaving us — and a huge percentage of small businesses in America — high and dry.

XO Communications is breaking every crisis management rule in the book. [ more]

What I Learned From Mickie Siebert: Put Your Head Down and Charge

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, August 26, 2013

Mickie Siebert (aka Muriel) said, famously, when asked about the secret of her success: "I put my head down, and charge."

Indomitable, irrepressible, fearless, salty, independent, and ultimately successful — the secrets of Mickie's life are inspirational for both women and men leaders, both on and off of Wall Street. But, of course, it helps that she was such an early trailblazer for women in the all-male bastion of Wall Street, and that she charted a course that so many have followed, but so very few have succeeded at as well as she did. [ more]

Getting Out Of The Heat: 10 Ways For Leaders To Deal With An Angry Public

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, July 19, 2013

Beyond 97 degree temperatures, there is another kind of heat that some leaders around the world are facing – and that is an increasingly angry public. Whether they are trying to perpetuate the legacy of the Arab Spring, their yoga pants are made of thinner-than-usual material, or they have been caught allowing their agents to spy on a good percentage of the population... leaders are being cut little slack by their constituents. This article offers ten tips on how to deal with an angry public [ more]

Leadership Under Attack -- Escalating Crisis And Reputation Challenges In The Age Of Social Media

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, July 16, 2013

Leadership of all kinds has been coming under unprecedented attack. But, Sometimes it TAKES a crisis to see who you really are. And get the word out. Organizations can use crisis to reaffirm who they are, what they stand deed and word. They can become stronger, finer, more tested, more positively well known. But it is real engagement that is needed. It does not, usually, handle itself. [ more]

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.

If you would like to be on our mailing list, please contact us by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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. [ 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. [ 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. [ 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. [ more]

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