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

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

Leaders, want to increase the impact of your decisions? Shoot for 'two-fers'

(Image created by Deposit Photo)The other day I was in the supermarket, critiquing the blueberries, when I noticed the price: buy 1 pint, get 1 pint free. That's what I call a "two-fer" -- two for the price of one. (I bought two pints.) Later I stopped by the local convenience store for coffee and another sign caught … Read More

You can now apply for the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media

Applications are now open for the Online News Association-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, which will take place on April 12 to April 17 at Poynter in St. Petersburg, Florida. The academy is tuition-free, and 25 women will be chosen. Teaching at the academy will be Facebook’s Liz Heron, S. Mitra Kalita of Quartz, Google News Lab's Olivia … Read More

Managers: 4 things to check before the year ends

As the year winds down, it's a good time for managers to step back for a little review and reflection. I suggest that you check areas that are time-sensitive as well as those that are timeless leadership responsibilities and opportunities. You're busy, of course, so I'll keep the list concise: Look at your budget. Is there any use-it-or-lose-it money … Read More

How to manage a 'newsroom star' and keep everyone happy

This is the core message of my teaching: The most important things leaders do is help other people succeed. So what happens when they indeed succeed, and in a really big way? What's your responsibility when a member of your team builds a massive fan base, wins coveted awards, or rakes in high revenues for your organization? Congratulations, You get … Read More

Be a Better Listener in 3 Minutes

I work with managers and non-managers alike who want to become better at listening. I've read books on it, written columns, and teach sessions on the essentials of the skill. And then I met journalist E. S. Isaac of India and got a better education on what it means to truly listen. During a dinner conversation before … Read More

8 Tips for Techno-Evangelists

Journalism and technology don’t always go together very well. I think there’s a natural conflict between the gathering of news and information and the various means of packaging and distributing it. This conflict is especially challenging for newsroom managers. On one hand, they want to focus on the journalism; on the other, they need to stay aware of technological … Read More

5 reasons managers are addicted to "fixing" - and how to recover

I admit it. I'm a recovering fixer. Show me a piece of copy and my fingers get itchy. I crave contact with a keyboard, with a gnawing urge to tweak someone's writing a little -- or maybe a lot. Then I remind myself of the pledge I took years ago: "Remember, Jill. Sit on your hands. Coach, … Read More

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

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

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

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