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Power of Communication,The: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively Hardcover – Apr 19 2012

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson FT Press; 1 edition (April 19 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013288884X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132888844
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #387,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

“Helio Fred Garcia coached me a decade ago on the fundamentals of effective communication. I probably wasn’t his best student, but I count what I learned from him as one of the most important contributions to my personal growth as an executive. The Power of Communication should be on the must-read list of any person who aspires to lead by capturing the hearts and minds of his or her stakeholders.”

--Jeffrey Bleustein, Retired Chairman and CEO, Harley-Davidson, Inc.


The Power of Communication is an absolutely terrific book on how to communicate and lead in complex and shifting situations. Helio Fred Garcia has compiled a wealth of compelling examples to illustrate and support a cogent and immensely practical set of principles for leadership communication. The result is a compelling guide for leaders in business and government settings alike.”

--Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, and author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy


“Helio Fred Garcia is known as one of the most engaging and effective professors at NYU. Readers of this book will learn why. Only Fred could weave together tales about Abbott and Costello, the Marine Corps, and Cicero into a must-read for anyone who hopes to connect with the American public.”

--Louis Capozzi, Chairman, MSL Group (retired), and Adjunct Professor, New York University


“Professor Garcia’s book is great news for decision-makers, leaders, and professionals in the U.S. and any country in the world. The Power of Communication contains some very important global wisdom to save you in crisis in an omni-media age. The pity is that he can visit China only once a year, but that gives us all the more reason to celebrate the publication of this book, a very clear, concise, interesting, and powerful masterpiece.”

--Professor Steven Guanpeng Dong, Ph.D., Chair and Director, Institute of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, Tsinghua University, Beijing; Vice President, China Public Relations Association; former Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


The Power of Communication is story after story, insight after insight, lesson after lesson, inspiration after inspiration. Just when you think it’s impossible to find another important illustration of a crucial communication or leadership principle, Fred gives you another chapter of powerful, sensible, often surprising and charming stories and lessons. Believe me, he is a persuasive orator in person and, as you’ll read, on paper. Looking to build your powers of communication, to inspire trust and confidence, and to lead effectively? You hold in your hand the key ingredient to a happier, more successful, and influential professional life. Start reading.”

--James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, President, The Lukaszewski Group Division, Risdall Public Relations


Communication is the absolutely indispensable leadership discipline. But too often leaders and professional communicators get mired in tactics and fail to influence public attitudes in the ways that would help them most. The Power of Communication is the solution. World-renowned leadership communication expert Helio Fred Garcia builds on the U.S. Marine Corps’ legendary publication Warfighting, showing how to apply the Corps’ proven leadership and strategy doctrine in all forms of public communication--and achieve truly extraordinary results.


Garcia demonstrates how to orient on audiences, recognize their most critical concerns, and successfully communicate on three levels: strategic, operational, and tactical. You’ll learn how to take the initiative and control the agenda...respond to events with speed and focus...use the power of maneuver...prepare and plan...and put it all together, becoming a “habitually strategic” communicator.

Communication has power, but, as with any powerful tool, it needs to be used effectively or it can cause significant self-inflicted harm. You’ll learn specific, indispensable lessons of leaders communicating effectively, including Apple’s Steve Jobs and the McDonald’s board, as well as from catastrophic mistakes of business and political leaders who got it wrong, from BP’s Tony Hayward to the HP board to FEMA.


If you need to win hearts and minds, you need The Power of Communication--and you need it now.


  • Words matter: taking language seriously as a leadership discipline
    Adapt language to changing circumstances and to the reactions they generate
  • Words aren’t enough
    Learn how what a leader says sets expectations, but what a leader does determines whether trust rises or falls
  • Take your audience seriously
    Connect with your audiences as living, breathing entities
  • Speed, focus, and capturing the first mover advantage
    Define your situation, motives, and actions--before someone else does
  • Saying it isn’t enough
    Master the bearing, physicality, and stagecraft of successful public leadership
  • Audiences, attention, and retention
    Learn how hearts and minds work--and get them to work together for you




About the Author

For more than 30 years Helio Fred Garcia has helped leaders build trust, inspire loyalty, and lead effectively. He is a coach, counselor, teacher, writer, and speaker whose clients include some of the largest and best-known companies and organizations in the world.

Fred is President of the crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group and Executive Director of the Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership. He is based in New York and has worked with clients in dozens of countries on six continents.

Fred has been on the New York University faculty since 1988 and has received his school’s awards for teaching excellence and for outstanding service. He is an adjunct professor of management in NYU’s Stern School of Business Executive MBA program and an adjunct associate professor of management and communication in NYU’s Master’s in PR/Corporate Communication program. Fred is also on the adjunct faculty of the Starr King School for the Ministry-Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he teaches a seminar on religious leadership for social change. And he is on the leadership faculty of the Center for Security Studies of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where he teaches in the Master’s in Advanced Studies in Crisis Management and Security Policy. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and Officer Candidate School, the Brookings Institution, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and other institutions.

Fred is coauthor (with John Doorley) of Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication (second edition 2011; first edition 2007), by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. His two-volume book Crisis Communications was published by AAAA Publications in 1999. He blogs at; he tweets at

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As Helio Fred Garcia correctly notes in the Introduction to his book, 'Whatever else leadership may be, it is experienced publicly. While it may emote from within, it is a public phenomenon. A leader is judged on thee fundamental public leadership attributes.' They are bearing (i.e. how the leader carries himself or herself), the words used (i.e. what is said, usually to attract and engage others), and the manner of style by which the leader engages others' support and involvement). 'These are elements of communication'and as leadership discipline, communication benefits from the structures, concepts, and principles of effective leadership' that apply well in the military services and other fields in which leadership is required.

Warfighting: U.S. Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication No. 1 (1995) is Garcia's primary source as he converts its core principles into guidelines for effective leadership communication, including non-verbal as well as verbal initiatives. He also calls upon more than three decades of advising and coaching leaders and more than two decades of teaching in graduate-level programs at various universities. He also makes extensive use of case studies in which real-world leaders are involved in high-risk/high-stakes real-world situations.

There are no head-snapping revelations in this book, nor does Garcia make any such claim. Its greatest strengths are found within the framework he establishes and develops when presenting his material in the Three Parts:

Leadership and Communication: Connecting with Audiences (Chapters 1-5)
Strategy and Communication: Planning and Execution (Chapter 6)
Building Skills: Getting Good at Communicating Well (Chapters 7-10).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa93374bc) out of 5 stars 71 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a8f510) out of 5 stars Excellent If You're In a Corporate Setting July 26 2012
By Jinger Jarrett - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
When I requested this book, I was looking for a way to communicate better with those around me, as well as with my customers and readers. I wanted to build a stronger following for my business. This really doesn't have anything to do with that. If you're looking for a book like that, then I would highly recommend you read How To Win Friends and Influence People.

Instead, this is a book about how leaders can develop the skills they need to communicate with their audiences. It's based on a document produced by the Marine Corps called Warfighting. Much of what he says about the Marine Corps is also true of the Army, so his introduction can be taken with a grain of salt. (I remember being told every day that I was an 11B too.)

The book is divided into three sections. The first section, which is half the book, shows leaders how to connect with audiences. The next section, which is one chapter long, discusses planning and implementation. The final section, which also includes a chapter that sums everything up very nicely, shows leaders how to build their skills.

Although I believe this book will definitely be relevant to those who run larger corporations, I also believe that it's a little too academic for my taste. It does contain exercises at the end of each chapter to help with understanding the material, and Chapter 10 is top notch because it does sum everything up very nicely. If you run a business with a lot of employees, or you do a lot of public speaking, then this book would definitely be a good choice for you.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a8fec4) out of 5 stars Brillant and Entertaining: Must Read for Leaders who want to Improve Communication July 25 2012
By S. Dargin - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"If you can't communicate effectively, you will not lead", Marine Lieutenant Colonel Rob Riggle says in the forward. To be a great leader you must be an excellent communicator. The paradox is that we have been communicating our whole lives and are frequently unaware of the impact of our communication skills. It requires work and practice and learning to improve.

This book takes an interesting and methodical look at nine principles of effective communication for leaders. The nine principles are adapted from the book, Warfighting: U.S. Marine Corps Doctrinal Principle Publication No. 1, which is required reading for every Marine. The use of this surprised me, yet it works really well. There is a chapter dedicated to each principle. It explains the principle and shows how it works or not. The stories of the principles in action make this book a fascinating read. The analysis of historical and contemporary events through the leadership communication lens, such as Katrina, Netflix, BP oil spill, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs are helpful and insightful. He also uses scientific research in many places to back up the principles. He turns the whole concept of using logic to lead on its head. First connect with the person, he writes, "We are feeling machines who also think."

I teach a course for Project Managers and have adapted several of the concepts. Start a communication by "Framing" what you are going to say. The example given in the book is, "I am not a crook" - of course the first thing you think of is crook! Adapting it to project managers, might go something like this, "The project is late", creates a different frame from, "The project is 97% done and will be complete in 2 days after initially scheduled".

This is a must read for any leader who is serious about improving their leadership and communication skills.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a8f990) out of 5 stars "If you can't communicate effectively, you will not lead." Dec 11 2012
By Russ Emrick - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is one of the best books I've read on communication as a leadership and business discipline. "The Power of Communication" is not a general book on communication, but as the sub-title suggests, it is about the "skills to build trust, inspire loyalty, and lead effectively."

"The Power of Communication" is an adaptation of the Marine Corps key manual, "Warfighting," for use in the business world. You may not like this book if you're not pro-military or don't appreciate the military's approach on communication. For those of us who do I can't recommend a better book or an author who has more impressive credentials. Helio Fred Garcia has taught at dozens of impressive Universities, including Wharton School of Business. He is a consultant and has extensive military background, including endorsements of some serious West Point Officers. He is the real deal.

Garcia slaughters many communication myths, gives many examples of PR blunders, i.e. communication nightmares such as BP's CEO Tony Hayward statement over the Deepwater Horizon disaster "I just want may life back." Garcia not only tells you what communication isn't but what it is and then teaches you how to communicate effectively. If I only had two books on communication this would be one of them ("People Skills" by Bolton would be the other). This is an excellent book.

Let me offer a few examples:

"Strategy is the process of ordered thinking: of thinking in the right order. Ineffective leadership communication begins with "what do we want to say?" that's both selfish and starts where thinking should ultimately end up. And it skips the essential questions that make sense of the situation, establish goals, identify audiences and attitudes, and prescribe a course of action to influence those attitudes"

"Communication isn't about telling our story. That's undisciplined, self-indulgent, and often illusory. The power of communication is getting audiences to listen--and to care."

"Words set expectations: the actions fulfill or betray those expectations. Trust arises when expectation are met and lost when they are not."

"So effective communication is hard. It requires discipline. It requires understanding the desired reaction among the groups to which one communications, which in turn requires knowing all one can about that group. And then it requires saying and doing all that is necessary--and only what is necessary--to provoke that desired reaction. And it also requires understanding the absolutely predictable consequences--both intended and unintended--of words, silence, inaction, and action."

"Leaders are particularly prone to seeing the world from the perspective of their own organization, and fail to consider--or to dismiss as irrelevant--the concerns of stakeholders."

"All communication tactics need to be directly supportive of communications goals. Communication goals, in turn, need to support business goals. Any communication goals or tactics conceived or executed in the absence of clearly defined business goals are likely to be ineffective. Each [communication and business goals] needs to be clearly articulated, with communication goals subordinate to and supportive of the business goals."

This book is full of checklists, chapter re-caps, summaries, best practices and take away points. There are many business case studies, examples, and detailed instructions on how to effectively lead people, groups and organizations with the various mediums and tools of communications.

The author is insistent that what is communicated must be consistent with what is done--actions being the best confirmation of words and in-effect the loudest message in all communications. The Yin/Yang that "Words Matter/Words Aren't Enough." "The Power of Communication" goes from the conceptual, e.g. connecting and planning, to Execution and then Skill Building. Verbal and non-verbal skills are covered. Garcia hits on every major area and can have a major impact on your effectiveness as a communicator and leader if you'll apply the material of this outstanding book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a4a30c) out of 5 stars I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to communicate more effectively Aug. 13 2012
By Alain B. Burrese - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I found "The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively" by Helio Fred Garcia to be an exceptional book on effective communication skills. Maybe it's because my own communication programs include lessons from martial arts and military that I really found myself engrossed with Garcia's book that builds on the U.S. Marine Corps' legendary publication "Warfighting." Garcia took that book that has been used to build leaders and is a guide on strategy doctrine in the Marine Corps, and showed how the same lessons and principles apply to effective communication and how through effective communication you can achieve extraordinary results.

The book is divided into three parts. The first, Leadership and Communication: Connecting with Audiences contains the first five chapters. These focus on the concepts of: words matter; taking audiences seriously; words aren't enough; speed, focus, and the first mover advantage; and initiative, maneuver, and disproportionality.

The second part, Strategy and Communication: Planning and Execution only has one chapter, and this chapter focuses on goals, strategies, and tactics. In other words, the preparing and planning of your communications.

Part three, Building Skills: Getting Good at Communicating Well, provides four chapters that deal with the areas of performance, the physicality of audience engagement; content, word choice, framing, and meaning; audiences attention, retention, and how hearts and minds work; and putting it all together, becoming a habitually strategic communicator.

There is also an Appendix that shares some of the "Warfighting" principles for leadership communication for review.

Throughout the book, the "Warfighting" principles are shared, and then translated into guidelines for effective leadership communication. These are great guideposts for learning how to more effectively communicate. There are also many case studies and examples of where famous people or companies communicated effectively or didn't communicate very well and excellent lessons are taken from these real life examples. The book also contains checklists, questions, recaps, and summary lessons for the chapters.

I agree with Garcia that the concepts in "Warfighting" deserve a bigger audience, and I really like how he took those concepts and applied them to communication in an interesting and practical manner. All leaders who wants to be more effective with communicating should read this book and apply the lessons to their own situations. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to communicate more effectively. This book will not just show you, but guide you to using The Power of Communication.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of "Lost Conscience: A Ben Baker Sniper Novel."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a4a4d4) out of 5 stars One of the best on the subject of business communication June 2 2012
By Harold McFarland - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is one of the best books I have read on the subject of business communication. The principles can be used in a non-business setting but it is predominantly written for business and public relations.

The author has chosen to illustrate the principles of the book by examining many real-life cases of communication gaffs by businesses and governmental bodies. This makes the book more readable and helps the reader understand the points being made.

He examines communication in the context of war. This appeared at first to be an illogical pairing but actually worked brilliantly. Communication can be viewed as a war; not to win territory or natural resources, but to win the hearts and minds of stakeholders and/or the public. It is not about winning their heart and mind by learning how to cast the correct spin on something bad to make it more palatable but takes the high road of accepting responsibility and moving the company forward.

While several of the passages reminded me of parts of the Art of War by Sun Tzu it is actually based on the strategies and techniques taught by the U.S. Marine Corps in their training manual Warfighting. This is one of the few books, maybe one in fifty that I started dogearing pages because I wanted to come back to them and review after I had finished. I soon realized that I was dogearing far too many pages and brought out the laptop to start putting notes together that I might find useful to keep handy. This is extremely rare for me, but this book rose to that level of excellence.

While there may be better books on personal communication on the market, this book stands alone as the best book I have read on the subject of business communication to stakeholders and how to grab and maintain control of how your business is viewed by stakeholders including the general public that may be purchasing your product. Easily worth the five star rating and a highly recommended purchase.