Then the moment comes to pull the trigger. What happens next makes all the difference. Some clients give the “go” order quickly and cleanly. But far more stop dead in their tracks, hesitate, wait, discuss or, fatally it seems, backtrack on goals they once outlined as essential. Business leaders are immobilized by their doubts, while adversaries gain a competitive edge.
These critical decisions are defining moments for a business leader. Decisive leaders win.
Areas of Focus
Education and Honors
Frances K. Cox
Frances is a strategy and communications expert at 50PointOne. A lawyer by training, she still thinks like one—looking to mitigate risk and find the path to the winning verdict.
Frances specializes in creative communications campaigns that exceed client expectations.
She’s handled federal legislative affairs for clients ranging from public transit systems to mayor’s offices in cities large and small.
With past stints in the Washington, DC, offices of General Motors and Ryder System, Inc., she brings the experience of corporate America to her clients.
She has been a guest lecturer at American University’s Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute (PAAI) since 2007.
A North Carolina native, Frances has also lived in Texas, Virginia, Boston and New York City. She currently resides in Washington, DC.
* Frances does not practice law.
Ouch! Ow! Crap! Son of a bitch!
There I was on the wrong end of a 245-pound outside linebacker. There I was rolling in the dirt on the wrong side of that big Swedish oxer. There I was drinking warm beer in a cheesy hotel ballroom that had emptied out by 9 o’clock as the losing returns came in.
They say you learn from defeat. What I learned most keenly was to hate it; the bile-sour taste of it, the putrid smell and the unholy feel of it. Oh, I love winning all right. Who doesn’t? But more than anything else, I hate losing. That’s what makes winning so vital, isn’t it?
In the advertising business you couldn’t lose. Not really. The ads scored really well, but the sales people didn’t execute. At seven straight Miller Brewing annual sales meetings the chief marketing officer of the moment explained that beer sales were soft because the spring had been really rainy that year. Volume went down, but you still got the Clio Award. That wasn’t winning.
What I missed was the snap, crackle and pop of unequivocal certainty. That’s Election Day. Sawyer/Miller Group and then Core Strategy Group and now 50PointOne gave us that, the campaign model. In politics we worked for the underdogs and insurgents. And when we worked for corporations, it was often for the maniacs like Steven Jobs, Joanna Jacobson, Hank Vigil, Mike Milken or Rupert Murdoch.
So we learned to play strategy for keeps. And I still hate to lose.