February - March 2019 Greetings from the snowy, frozen Tundra of Minnesota. No one here is laughing about fun outdoors. No one is really complaining

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February - March 2019

Greetings from the snowy, frozen Tundra of Minnesota.

No one here is laughing about fun outdoors. No one is really complaining either.

We did complain when Chicago got all the coverage of the Polar Vortex.
Parts of Minnesota and North Dakota were colder longer. We still have several ice fishermen trapped, and being rescued, from various lakes. More snow and sub zero weather in the forecasts.

This issue talks about some of the most powerful lessons I have learned from my work with troubled companies, organizations, businesses and leaders. I’ll be sharing some about a new book coming out in early 2020 from McGraw Hill.

If we are ever to get this country back on an even keel we will successfully face three powerful cultural issues: civility, decency and integrity. One of the most important questions we need to address is,
"Why have so many failed to learn from other People's mistakes, and so few do?” This is our major focus throughout 2019, even more heavily during 2020.

I'm looking to touch some nerves, irritate some comfortable people, confirm the optimism that is America and burst a few bubbles along the way. We begin with exposing the 10 Excuses for Indiscretion.

Welcome aboard

Jim Lukaszewski

P.S. Thank you for your concerns about Barbara. You can follow her journey at www.caringbridge.org. Search for Barbara Lukaszewski.

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My old friend Steve Harrison, chairman of Lee Hecht Harrison, and I are writing a book about civility, decency, integrity. Writing a book requires a lot of thinking, defining, naming, as well as clearly describing important concepts. Steve's last book, The Manager's Book Of Decencies, published by McGraw-Hill in 2008, is a wonderful collection of stories, examples and sensible advice. In this new book, due out in early 2020, Steve has a new platform to speak directly to executives about their responsibilities to lead civil, decent and healthy cultures.

My subject is also to talk to CEOs, managers and leaders at all levels, mostly about how to avoid the screw ups, mistakes, bad behaviors and indiscretions that mess up companies, their employees and their families lives. This is where the greatest lessons come from. The bulk of my work has been as an outsider to organizational leadership during times of trouble and harm, which often turn out to be largely self-inflicted.

Why Do So Many Fail to Learn Anything from Other People’s Mistakes, And So Few Do?

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One of the most frequent questions I’m asked because I’m in the most serious end of the crisis response business, and virtually all my clients have some level of culpability, is why don’t smart people, good companies and important organizations learn from the mistakes, bad behavior and poor judgment of others?

For more than 40 years of practice I have pondered, written, lectured and helped hundreds of companies, leaders and organizations, who deserved it, to survive. The different kinds of indiscretions, accidents, bad decisions are limited. If there’s one thing I have learned it is the reason there are only 10 Commandments. In reality there are very few ways to screw things up, but even this fails to deter the determined perpetrator, predator, intentional error, commission, omission or negligence.

The reasons, excuses, alibis and the justifications follow patterns which, when disclosed, revealed or explained become obvious to everyone.

Here they are:


"Thank you for your very kind words. At my first world conference in Toronto 2003, I attended a workshop with you. I have used your guideline — do nothing, do something, do something more — in advising my executive teams with great success ever since. I’m grateful to the IABC family for offering such great support and connection to amazing mentors. Thank you for everything you have shared." An IABC Fellow.