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Leadership

NEWS

Hey, boss: Future managers are watching you. What are they learning?

Who taught you to be a manager? A lot of people taught me, some of them a long time ago. There was the boss in my early days as an editor who telephoned me on the city desk about 10 one evening and, in a drunken fog, promised to ruin me over a perceived slight. Too young to know better, … Read More
NEWS

Just do it: The no-excuses approach to becoming a better manager

What, I ask managers, would you like to change about the way you lead? “I’d like to be a better planner,” one says. “I’d like to be more flexible,” says another. “I’d like to be less impatient,” says a third. Be, be, be. I’d like to be… But what will you do in order to be a better leader? That’s … Read More
NEWS

How are you helping your staff improve? Maybe you need a strategy.

Somewhere along the line, I realized that two kinds of managers worked in newsrooms. The first kind I could always find; they were working at their computer screens. The second kind often tested my tracking skills. They might be in the cafeteria. They might be sitting in a quiet conference room. They might be across the room, leaning against a … Read More
NEWS

Managers, does your staff trust you? Try building your campaign on these 8 ideas.

Whether they're standing behind podiums, working the crowd or appealing to me on my TV screen, every candidate’s message is, at its core, the same: You can trust me. Some pledge to return America to greatness. Some promise to lower my taxes. Some assure me I won’t have to worry about competing for jobs with people from someplace else. They … Read More
NEWS

Managers, you work really hard. But are you doing your job?

During Poynter leadership programs, newsroom managers receive feedback from their staffs, colleagues and bosses back home. The participants can use the feedback to help decide how well their leadership is working. In recent months, I’ve seen an interesting trend in that feedback—one I would call worrisome. Staffs are letting their bosses off the hook. First, here’s what hasn’t changed: Asked … Read More
NEWS

Should your newsroom act more like a startup?

The news that Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes decided to sell The New Republic got me thinking about all of the established news organizations I've worked with in the past few years, and what all of them have in common: Like The New Republic, they're trying to become something else. Some are trying to become "digital-first." Or "audience-focused." Or "platform neutral." … Read More
NEWS

Need a newsroom resolution for 2016? How about reclaiming some expertise?

This business of choosing resolutions for the New Year requires some strategic thought. First, I need to select an area of my life that requires attention. (There are many.) And second, it helps if I select an area I actually can influence. (That winnows the field a bit.) How about this one, editors and news directors: Resolved: In 2016, your newsroom will … Read More
NEWS

Another downsizing? Here are 5 ideas for helping your staff move forward

Acknowledge that your newsroom has lost people. Don't pretend it didn't happen. (Photo by Deposit Photos) The note from management hit the bulletin board on a Friday afternoon. It was October 1981. The note said that in two weeks, 30 members of the newsroom staff of 150 would be laid off—a 20 percent reduction. Those interested in voluntarily accepting … Read More
NEWS

Newspaper Association of America goes with seasoned association executive as new president and CEO

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, left, and former U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer David Chavern at the Rose Garden of the White House in 2011. Chavern will be the new president and CEO of the NAA. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) David Chavern, chief operating officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for most of … Read More
NEWS

'I can't ever unsee that:' Which unforgettable moments should a journalist choose to cover?

A version of this presentation opened the 11th annual Poynter-Kent State University Media Ethics Workshop. The subject of this year’s workshop, held on Sept. 17, was Journalism and Trauma.  Why are we here today? We're here today because the body of a 3-year-old Syrian child washed ashore on a Turkish beach, and journalists had to decide what to do … Read More
NEWS

The challenge no manager wants: Leading an organization through its grief

Jeff Marks, the General Manager of WDBJ, and anchor Kimberly McBroom (Screen shot, WDBJ) No manager gets out of bed in the morning expecting to have two of his staffers murdered. By a former station employee. On live TV. But that’s what happened to Jeff Marks, the General Manager of WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. In the seconds it took … Read More
NEWS

Managers, use that 'You're a Fraud' voice in your head to become a better leader

Did anyone out there wake up this morning convinced that today was "The Day?” The day they discovered you don’t know what you’re talking about? I did. Fact is, I wake up on many mornings feeling that way. And I’m not alone. Whenever I ask a group of managers whether they ever start their day with a crisis of confidence, … Read More
NEWS

9 ways to make your feedback more effective

It's not just about giving feedback, it's how you give the feedback. (Flickr photo by Greg Anderson Photography)Newsroom managers who come to Poynter often return home with a new determination: To give their staffs more feedback. That's a good thing, because feedback happens to be what their staffs need most from them. Positive or negative, feedback is the fuel … Read More
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