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Leadership

NEWS

Manager, Interrupted: How to trade all of that multi-tasking for some real focus

Multitasking at work. (Flickr Photo by Jonathan Blundell/ https://flic.kr/p/7bnUSk) It’s 3:00 p.m. You’re sitting at your desk, trying to edit and file to the web the six paragraphs on your computer screen, a breaking account of the fire that has reduced downtown traffic to a crawl. Your phone rings. The reporter at the fire wants to … Read More
NEWS

Why do journalists remember nasty editors fondly?

Dean Baquet said it was "nuts" to elegize "'the city editor who changed my life because he was really nasty to me for six months and it made me a better person.'" I noted earlier today that John Robinson had recently tweeted some wisdom about the peculiar devotion some journalists have for tough editors, but I was curious what Jill Geisler, who directs Poynter's management and leadership training programs, thought about J. Jonah Jameson types. Geisler recently wrote about what a good management style looks like, and talked about the "bad old days" when "bosses could be behave like tyrants" as long as their team "cranked out some good work." She didn't dwell on those days in the piece, though, so I put it to her: Why do so many journalists think fondly of jerks? Here's what she wrote back: The fond remembrances are very likely the result of several things: 1. It’s all seen through the rear view mirror. Those who are fondly recalling their super-tough, idiosyncratic bosses are proud of their survival, just like those who make it through fraternity or sorority hazing. They put greater emphasis on the positive outcome and tell war stories about the hardship. There’s a “coolness” factor to telling those “I was one of Mr. or Ms. X’s crew — what a wild ride that was. If you made it there, you know you had what it takes." Read More
NEWS

Virtual Newsroom: getting journalism done in a digital age

At this moment, I am at my dining room table in Los Angeles with two laptops, a cellphone and an iPad. I work with staff writers who live in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and just outside of Tampa. I also talk virtually with Poynter faculty, adjunct faculty and freelancers who write for us, some of whom live in Florida, but some … Read More
NEWS

So what the heck IS a good management style, anyway?

There are no perfect managers. Not Jill Abramson. Not Dean Baquet. Certainly not Jill Geisler when she ran a newsroom, and she's now a leadership teacher, for heaven's sake. Every manager has strengths and challenges. And on any given day, you, as a boss, will disappoint someone. You hire and promote people while rejecting others. You accept and … Read More
NEWS

New York Times' Sulzberger took a risk; how about one more?

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s latest statement is a far cry from the May 14 New York Times news release about Jill Abramson's departure, a missive that seems almost comically cordial now. Then, Sulzberger expressed his "sincere thanks" to her and she, in turn, thanked him for "the chance to serve," calling him "a steadfast protector of our journalism." Addressing the … Read More
NEWS

Great journalist or great manager: Who would you prefer for a boss?

I am going to begin this essay on leadership with an extended baseball analogy. I realize that this will make my argument sound “gendered,” and not in a good way, but I’ll take my chances. There are a lot of good baseball managers out there, and one of them is Joe Maddon, skipper of our local team the Tampa Bay … Read More
NEWS

Slow down and read this: 6 ideas for making better decisions

Lessons in management, like all good stories, pop up almost anywhere. Case in point: a recent episode of "Restaurant Impossible," the weekly effort by the Food Network’s Robert Irvine to “save a failing restaurant” in just 48 hours. Having seen many of the show’s nearly 100 episodes, I can tell you that in almost every case, poor management contributes to … Read More
NEWS

Maybe your staff can handle criticism, but are they learning anything?

How well do you handle criticism? I ask because in Poynter’s new report, “Core Skills for the Future of Journalism,” no multimedia skill received as many votes from professionals, academics, students and independent journalists as this one: “Handle Criticism Well.” Must be pretty important, eh? Permit me to suggest why many respondents rated this “skill’ in the top one-third … Read More
NEWS

Leading Into the Wind: a talk on leadership in challenging times

Editor's note: This article was adapted from a speech presented by Karen Dunlap, former president of The Poynter Institute, at The Centre for Women in Tampa, Fla., on March 27. This is a 1975 photo of Katharine Graham, left, first woman elected to The Associated Press board of directors, during a board meeting in New York City. (AP Photo) Mary … Read More
NEWS

Inside the Thunderdome newsroom: heartbreak and hustle

From leadership literature to commencement speeches, the message is: Don't fear failure. It's a gift that makes us stronger and wiser. But that's a heck of a lot easier to say -- and believe -- when you're looking at failure in the rear view mirror, not while you're in the midst of it. As the people of Project … Read More
NEWS

And you thought the AP ruckus was just about style

Read Poynter's Storify of reactions to the AP Stylebook "over"/"more than" revision, and you get a quick class in change management, especially about the emotional impact of change. I’ve always taught leaders that change involves two key challenges: learning and letting go. This time, for legions of teachers, editors, and grammar fans, it’s about unlearning. It’s about changing … Read More
NEWS

Managers, make 'we can be better' more than empty words

So today I’m thinking about Casey Stengel and Jesus. Why? Well, in my life, it’s the time of year for two really important six-week seasons: spring training and Lent. Both are times devoted to preparation. Both are opportunities for fresh starts. And both give those who take part a chance to make an important change — whether it be their … Read More
NEWS

Advice from an introvert: It's time to speak up

I’m an introvert. A lot of folks are surprised to hear me say that. We’ve seen you teach, they say. And you were a managing editor. And you coordinated media relations for a big health-insurance company. That’s all true. I also can work a crowd, make conversation with people I don’t know, even seize the microphone if that’s what the … Read More
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