Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Why Leadership is Paramount

Throughout a career in public relations, there are milestones to strive for. There are many teachable moments that can be used by senior professionals to show younger professional how to carry out tactics the “right way.” There are also times when strategy can be learned and approaches can be observed. However, across all professions, there is at least one important characteristic that cannot be taught: how to be a leader.

Friday Five LogoIn this week’s Friday Five – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we shine a light on the professionals that make or break an organization. We’ll look at the reasons why Millennials aren’t interested in working for certain leaders, what happens when leadership is missing from a PR workplace, how the Ebola outbreak is impacted by a lack of leadership, and the unorthodox leadership style of Virgin’s Richard Branson. We’ll also discuss the CEO who turned around  Bank of America.

Dear CEO: This Is Why Millennials Don’t Want to Work for You (Inc.)

There have been so many articles about Millennials, you would think that by now we would know everything we need to know to understand this group. Inc. reporter John Boitnott offers a different twist on the Millennial saga. He explains to established leaders and companies why Millennials may not want to work for them.

Boitnott explains that both ethics and innovation are important to Milliennials: “Millennial employees don’t just care about the bottom line or their year-end salary. Yes, both of those are still important, but Millennials also want to know that their current employer isn’t 100 percent business-focused, and that their work is positively affecting their community.”

Find out the other reasons Millennials may not want to work for you via the full article.

When PR Leadership is Missing in Your Workplace (Culpwrit)

In a PR agency setting, leaders are not only responsible for billable hours, program planning and client satisfaction, they also must advise and guide their account teams. At the end of the day, the billable work understandably comes first, often leaving younger professionals to their own devices. In an industry with an already high turnover rate, younger professionals often find themselves searching for someone to invest time in their careers.

Culpwrit guest blogger Matthew P. Gonring explains why professional development is a personal responsibility: “Development comes in many forms and if you are not getting support for it from your immediate supervisor there are many avenues you can seek. Yes, people in businesses are busy, but the best ones will make time for you if your approach is on target. It’s the effort required in finding others who will take the time and who can impart assistance in your career that matters. Additionally, the best professionals seek experiences beyond the boundaries of their own enterprise to gain development.”

Read the full post via Culpwrit.

Looking for leadership in the Ebola epidemic (Washington Post)

When tragedy strikes, we often look first to our leaders to guide us. If a leader faced with a bad situation exudes confidence and shows grace under fire, then most likely others will follow suit. What happens, however, if there is no one leading during a crisis? That is unfortunately exactly what some say is happening during the current Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, explains, “What has been lacking since the beginning is an entity or body that will somehow portray themselves as seeking the leadership and the coordination of the response to the Ebola epidemic. The current governments are trying to do their best, but the reality is they don’t have the capacity. They don’t have the experience.”

Read more about the escalating outbreak and the obstacles facing doctors trying to combat it without a leader in the Washington Post.

The Virgin Way – Insights Into Richard Branson’s Leadership (Forbes)

Richard Branson is not only an entrepreneur, successful businessman and a thrill seeker; he is also a popular, well-known figure for his unconventional approach to business and leadership. Forbes contributor George Bradt shares leadership quotes from Branson’s new book, “The Virgin Way.” Here are a couple of our favorites:

  • “Great leaders are…simplifiers…that can communicate…in terms that are universally understood.”
  • “When we are more positive our brains are ‘more engaged, more energized, creative, motivated, healthier, resilient and productive.’”

View the full article for more inspiring quotes from Branson.

The most underrated CEO in America (Fortune)

Remember when Bank of America was on the verge of a total collapse? You should, because it wasn’t too long ago when Bank of America was the poster child for failing financial institutions. Now the financial giant has made an incredible comeback, could you name the company’s CEO? Probably not.

As Fortune author Shawn Tully explains, CEO Brian Moynihan does not have Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s charisma or “celebrity good looks” but he’s managed to quietly pull Bank of America out of the red. How is Moynihan exceeding expectations? One reason why his leadership has worked is that even in the darkest times, he set ambitious goals and expected his employees to find a way to achieve them.

Read more about Moynihan’s unlikely success via Fortune.

Rosanne Mottola is public relations manager for the Public Relations Society of America.

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