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Your Ethics Business Card – a Gift from Rose 🌹

Your Ethics Business Card – a Gift from Rose 🌹

Rose was full of surprises. At first glance you wouldn’t expect this woman in a wheelchair to travel where she traveled or say what she said.

So began Rose’s eulogy – eloquently written and told by her business partner.

Rose was a close friend of my family. She’d been a victim of polio in her youth and she navigated her world and our globe for over six decades in this wheelchair. I never noticed this chair; it was just part of her appearance and who she was.

Here’s one lesson I gleaned from that eulogy at her funeral. As co-owner of an ad agency one of her Fortune 500 clients wanted her to communicate the importance of ethics to all levels of employees, from factory workers to management. Rose conducted extensive research and out of volumes of information created a simple ethics quick test that would fit on a business card.

Your Ethics Business Card

Her six points, read at her funeral, can help guide all of us – as we handle work and play.

1. Is the action legal?
2. Does it comply with your values?
3. If you do it, will you feel bad?
4. How would it look in the newspaper?
5. If you know it’s wrong, don’t do it.
6. If you’re not sure, ask.

Feel free to make this into your Ethics Business Card. From Rose’s legacy to your every day life.

Karen Cortell Reisman Speech BookKaren Cortell Reisman book on sellingAuthor: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and tries to learn from other people’s lives… hopefully before the eulogy is read.

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Photo ©: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_nitanitova’>nitanitova</a>

How To Be a CEO

How To Be a CEO

You are a CEO. You are the decision maker in your industry. You are an entrepreneur.

What makes you a great leader?

Adam Bryant writes a column, “Corner Office”, for the NYT every Sunday for a decade answering this question. In his 525 interviews with CEOs he asks the unobvious – queries NOT about their companies, but questions about how they’d hire someone, what their parents were like, what shaped them, and life advice they give or wish they had received.

After a decade of these concise and insightful interviews, Bryant has moved on. In his final article on 10.29.17 he summarizes the lessons learned from these leaders.

He notices three recurring themes for those people who got the top job.

  1. Applied curiosity. “They tend to question everything. They want to know how things work, and wonder how they can be made to work better. They’re curious about people and their back stories. … Rather than wondering if they are on the right path, they are wringing lessons from all their experiences.”
  2. Discomfort is their comfort zone. “CEO’s seem to love a challenge.”
  3. Management of their own careers on their way to the top. “They focus on doing their current job well and that earns them promotions. That may seem obvious, but many people can seem more concerned about the job they want than the job they’re doing.”

Bryant observes that leadership is not The One Thing You Have To Do. Rather, it’s a series of paradoxes.

  • Leaders need humility to know what they don’t know, yet have the confidence to make a decision in the midst of chaos.
  • Chaos is good but too much creates anarchy.
  • A CEO needs to be empathetic and care about people yet be able to let them go.
  • A CEO needs to create a sense of urgency but have patience to bring a team together.

BUT if Bryant were squeezed into that corner office and HAD to say the Most Important Quality of Effective Leadership he says, “I would put trustworthiness at the top. … We can sense at a kind of lizard-brain level whether we trust someone.”

Readers of this blog – you know that “trust” is the bottom line theme of our Speak For Yourself® philosophy. How do you convey trust? It’s all in how you communicate. Your voice. Your business.


© 123RF Stock Photo

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog.

Did you know that we also work 1:1 with decision makers on overcoming the fear of public speaking? Click here: https://www.karencortellreisman.com/seminar-what-i-didnt-say.html 


Be a Better Boss by Learning from “Undercover Boss”

Be a Better Boss by Learning from “Undercover Boss”

Executive Communication Speaker and Coach Karen Cortell Reisman bossConfession – I’m a sucker for this reality show about a boss who goes undercover as an entry-level employee to discover the good, bad and ugly in her organization.

At the conclusion of this feel-good one-hour program, the boss reconvenes with the unsuspecting selected employees and rewards them with training, promotion, and/or money for their hard work and honest feedback. What’s not to like? I love seeing the power-person shovel waste, run to get cars while doing valet duties, handle the little problems faced by his company’s every-level employees.

Three skills that elevate these workers on this show to “boss potential”:

  1. Attitude. Not just a good attitude — a fantastic, positive, “gets the big picture” attitude.
  2. Hard worker. Even at a pretty low wage – wants to excel, performs at a high level, gets the job done with gravitas.
  3. High self-expectation. Mediocrity is not a word in his vocabulary.

Besides the fun factor, here’s what you, as a leader and an effective communicator can model in your organizations: Phenomenal attitude, hard-working behavior and high self-expectations.

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations and executives on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog

What’s the Biggest Screw-up You Can Make on Social Media?

What’s the Biggest Screw-up You Can Make on Social Media?

Karen Reisman Executive Speech Coach Social Media picLately clients have said, “I’m waiting for a reply email on our project but I see he’s posted an article just now on Linked In.” Or, “She couldn’t attend the Cerebral Palsy Dinner but someone told me she was pictured at a dinner party on that same evening.”

One friend said, “I sent my sister-in-law a text about the anniversary of the loss of her husband, and that’s my brother, and she never responded. Then I saw that she ‘liked’ other people’s postings on Facebook.”

What’s the biggest screw-up you can do on social media?

Getting BUSTED.

In the past you might be able to opt for a personal dinner engagement over a benefit dinner event without explaining your choice. Or be a bit late to send a document down the line while posting an article to social media.

You can’t do that anymore. The public eye never sleeps.

Three tips to avoid the “I’m Busted Screw-up”:

  1. Be aware and ask for no social media up front when you want privacy.
  2. Understand the nature of social media revelations – everyone can see what you are doing and WHEN.
  3. Use social media to your advantage. Be seen and heard when you want to – but understand the unintended outcomes.

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/

How Do You Present Bad News? What We Can Learn from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Whether you are waiting for your biopsy diagnosis, your third quarter return after a rocky sales’ season, or your controversial NYT book review – you will come to a point in your world where you’re the recipient of bad news.

Similarly, whether you’re the doctor sharing bad news, or the CFO giving a bad financial performance, or the NYT book reviewer writing the controversial opinion – you will come to a point in your world where you’re the giver of bad news.

What we can learn from the tragic aftermath of the lost Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is how to communicate bad news. These four guidelines can be used for whatever bad news you might have to impart to your employees, patients, or stockholders.

  1. Share what you know. Be clear and speak the truth, as difficult as it may be.
  2. Share what you don’t know. Be forthcoming about the missing links. In the case of Flight 370, the lack of information has been the most challenging aspect for both the communicators and the recipients.
  3. Share your information in a timely fashion. Bad news gets even worse when left to fester. As soon as is legally feasible, you must provide the info you know and reveal what you don’t know.
  4. Empathize with your audience. Robert Bies, a professor of management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, wrote in the Forbes Leadership Forum, “Remember when delivering bad news that the news never reaches just one; it reaches many. Others will be listening and watching, and even more will be interested.” Provide your challenging information with care and concern. Put yourself in the situation of the recipients. Be mindful of their pain and address the issues with compassion.

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/

I’ll have a Shirley Temple, please

Shirley Temple drinkThe drink?

No, that drink consisting of ginger ale and a splash of grenadine, topped with maraschino cherries tastes too sweet. 

The personality?

No – the iconic child actress also seems a bit too sweet.

The legacy?

Yes. Here’s what you can glean from this child star’s journey that can guide you to speak for yourself with power and presence.

  • Tenacity – persevering after early fame fades
  • Resilience – recreating herself as a diplomat and politician
  • Optimism – viewing reality from a positive slant
  • Strategic grace – “retiring” from show biz at the age of 22
  • Courage – revealing her taboo breast cancer story in the early ‘70s

 Shirley Temple currentShirley Temple Black died yesterday of natural causes at the age of 85. May she be a blessed memory and a reminder of how to speak for yourself whether singing “On the Good Ship Lollipop”, winning praise during her three years as an ambassador in Prague, or becoming co-founder of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, raising funds to fight the disease that afflicted her brother, George. 


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