Jim Lukaszewski Q&A

An IEEE Spectrum Radio Special

IEEE Spectrum Radio
25 minutes, 11.5mb, recorded 2008-08-01
Topics: Business

While bookshelves are filled with how-to books on effective management, little attention has been paid to the people that the boss looks to for advice. Drawing on his own experiences as a strategic advisor and consultant, Jim Lukaszewski, often called "Yoda" by his clients, has filled that need with his latest book "Why Should the Boss Listen to You: The Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor".

Lukaszewski points out that all of us are advisors to someone else, and success depends on fulfilling that role effectively. To become a trusted advisor you need to know how to get to the table, what is expected of you once you are there, and how to be asked back the next time.

Lukaszewski discusses the importance of understanding the role of the leader, seeing the world from the leader's perspective, and bringing ideas that will help the boss solve the problem at hand. Most staff people tend to take on the role of solution provider. That, says Lukaszewski, is a mistake. Crafting a solution is the leader's job. The effective advisor will provide incremental suggestions to enable the boss make a decision. Give the boss three options, says Lukaszewski, and you will be called back.

Finally, he touches on the personality aspects of the relationship between boss and advisor and how mutual trust is established.


James E. Lukaszewski is an expert in managing and counteracting tough, touchy, sensitive corporate communications issues. He is frequently retained by senior management to directly intervene and manage the resolution of corporate problems and bad news.

He's an author (several books, more than 130 articles) and a member of the editorial board for Ragan’s Public Relations Journal, a contributing editor to Public Relations Quarterly, a contributing columnist to pr reporter and PR News, a member of InfoCom’s Media Relations Insider editorial advisory board, and was the first crisis columnist for the PRSA’s member publication, PR Tactics. He's an internationally recognized speaker on crisis communications management, ethics, media relations, public affairs, and reputation preservation and restoration.

An accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (ABC) and the Public Relations Society of America (APR), he's a member of the PRSA’s College of Fellows (Fellow PRSA); Board of Ethics & Professional Standards. He is the recipient of Ball State University’s 2004 National Public Relations Achievement Award, the 2004 Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA, the 2005 PR News Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2006 Lloyd B. Dennis Distinguished Leadership Award.

He received his BA in 1974 from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. He's a former deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Economic Development and assistant press secretary to former Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson. He founded Minnesota-based Media Information Systems Corporation in 1978. Prior to founding The Lukaszewski Group Inc. in 1989 he was senior vice president and director of Executive Communication Programs for Georgeson & Company and a partner with Chester Burger Company, both in New York City. His name also appeared in Corporate Legal Times as one of “28 Experts to Call When All Hell Breaks Loose,” and in PR Week as one of 22 “crunch-time counselors who should be on the speed dial in a crisis.”

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