The Agony of Decision author Fred Garcia is one of those amazing, extraordinary people we so rarely meet in our lives. Luckily, we met more than thirty years ago, in New York as he recruited me to teach in his Public Relations program at NYU. I had just arrived in the East from the Midwest. It was the beginning of a career long relationship where we collaborate, associate, learn from each other, and shared or refereed clients to each other.
In this book, he has taught me how to look at the world far more strategically, thoughtfully and internationally. Although he has far outdistanced me on so many levels, we both believe in the power and critical importance of communication in our lives, work, relationships, leadership and democracy.
He is a powerful teacher of leaders in all walks of life. Perhaps the greatest of his insights, for those who want to work at the highest levels of organizations, is the notion that at those high levels of practice we are more effective if we act more like management anthropologists than communicators and staff people.
Understanding leadership behaviors, decisions, motivations, stresses, experience and emotional intelligence allow us to have far deeper and beneficial influence, impact and access, that are the keys to being a trusted strategic advisor and to be someone who is expected to always make a substantial difference whatever the challenge, task or assignment and to ease the agony of those who actually make the truly hard decisions that matter. This book is a powerful reflection of his philosophy.
By way of disclosure, and as a reflection of our long-term professional admiration and respect, Fred mentions me in his acknowledgments, “I want to take a moment to thank my mentor and dear friend, America’s crisis guru® Jim Lukaszewski. More than 30 years ago, I saw Jim in a public event, and was blown away. I made it for coffee and asked him to help me get into the crisis field for real. He said he keep an eye on me, and if he saw promise he do what he could. He has been a generous mentor, friend, and colleague ever since. However far I can see, it’s because I stand on his shoulders. Thank you, Jim.”
He then went on to quote me 8 different times in the text of the book. Fred has two other books in print,” The Power of Communication: Skills To Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty And Lead Effectively; and, Reputation Management: The Key To Successful Public Relations And Corporate Communication, with John Doorley.
The Agony of Decision, Mental Readiness and Leadership in A Crisis
by Helio Fred Garcia
© 2017 Helio Fred Garcia
Logos Institute Best Practices Series
By James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, Fellow IABC; APR, Fellow PRSA; PRSA BEPS Emeritus