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And the Award for Best Actor in a Debate Goes to…?

I’ve never been a follower of the Oscars, Grammys, Tonys or other major awards shows, but if there were Emmy’s for debates, several categories could have been awarded last night.   Last night was the second Republican primary debate in the lead-up to the 2024 election, and as always, my analysis is completely APOLITICAL, looking […]


Three Crucial Leadership Communication Lessons from Debate #10

  Ten rounds of debate into the Democratic primary and my overall reaction to last night’s debate was: disappointment.  Nobody truly stood out, and the overall environment was chaotic and unpleasant to listen to and watch.   But most mind-bogglingly (yes, that’s a word), nobody used ANY tweetable-and-repeatable refrains, despite the fact that yesterday morning […]


The Persuasive Power Tool of Debate Eight

Whereas President Trump’s state of the union address relied on hyperbole and superlatives as I described here, Friday’s Democratic primary debate round eight demonstrated the impact of the use – or absence – of REFRAINS in the art of persuasion and influence. Let’s look at a few examples of both. Joe Biden Biden was the […]


Head of the Class or Back of the Pack: What to look for in Thursday’s debate

Thursday evening is Round 3 of the Democratic primary debates, but the question is whether the third time’s the charm that puts someone in the lead, or a curse that ends a campaign. With ten people all competing for attention and votes, the answer will depend on one fundamental issue: whether or not their performance […]


What Happens if You Say ‘No’?

What happens if you say “no?” Do you remember the old Staples television commercial with the “EASY” button? People would look for something at Staples, find it quickly and hit the button that would exclaim, “That was easy!”   The fun part was that you could actually buy your very own “easy” button at Staples. […]


Want to Know What Charisma Looks Like? Watch This.

One of my all-time favorite books on leadership presence is Olivia Fox Cabane’s The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism (2012).   Fully debunking the myth that charisma is some X-factor that you’re either born with or not, she operationalizes charisma in a very simple, three-part equation:   […]


Who is Lucky to Have Whom?

Meredith was burned out after nearly a decade in a toxic corporate culture. She wanted out, and she wanted a fresh start in a new company that would challenge and nurture her, and allow her to contribute meaningfully in a leadership role.   She had an interview lined up, and she was excited for it. […]


Was That Supposed to be Funny?

The emcee of the dinner social event warned me ahead of time: “It’s 300 partners from the law firm, and you should just know that at this event every year they often just keep talking to                                     people at […]


The Most Important Question You Must Answer

Last week I received a great surprise invitation that made me put my money where my mouth is.   Kelsey Fabian, morning show host at WPHL 17 TV here in Philadelphia – invited me to join her on the air Wednesday morning to debrief the one and only debate between Mehmet Oz (“Dr. Oz”) and […]