The Book Stall Talks Business, with Author Jack Modzelewski

We are delighted to offer another edition of our ongoing series "The Book Stall Talks Business," where we feature writers and business leaders covering topics and offering advice our audience can apply to their own companies and careers. This evening we welcome Jack Modzelewski, founder and president of JackKnifePR, a business communications consulting firm in Chicago. He'll be in conversation with Roger Hochschild, the CEO of Discover, as they discuss Mr. Modzelewski's new book, Talk Is Chief: Leadership, Communication, and Credibility in a High-Stakes World. 

This event is free and open to the public. Our Book Stall Talks Business series is popular--please arrive a few minutes early to get a good seat. Mr. Modzelewski will be happy to sign copies of his book. Can't make it to this event? Give us a call at 847-446-8880 and we are happy to arrange an autogrpahed copy for you!

About the Book:

Talk Is Chief inspires leaders and aspiring leaders to treat their daily communication practices as seriously as their fiscal, operational, value creation, deal making, business transformation, and other executive responsibilities.

Leaders today spend up to 90 percent of each day communicating to make good things happen in their organizations. They communicate with colleagues, customers, shareowners, creditors, regulators, advocates, and competitors. They influence culture, opportunity, risk-taking, and risk aversion. The stakes in this new communication environment are very high, driving home Winston Churchill's statement: "The difference between mere management and leadership is communication."

These days, leaders are likely to face adversity and career-testing situations. Crisis defines leaders and their organizations. But it does not have to take them down. Talk Is Chief provides sound advice, examples, and even a list of the "Ten Commandments of Crisis Management" so that leaders can either avoid crises or avert worst-case scenarios when confronted with an existential threat.

Jack Modzelewski's vast years of experience working with numerous Fortune 500 companies as a communications consultant tells us that too many leaders undervalue and therefore underperform their vital communication responsibilities. They do so at their own disadvantage and sometimes peril in this age of heightened activism, transparency, disinformation, and disruption.

Whether they recognize it or not, leaders are chief credibility officers, with organizational reputations often resting on their words and actions, especially in times of crisis. As a CEO quoted in the book said: "Communication shouldn't be just another hat that a CEO wears. It should be at the core of everything you do."

"Jack Modzelewski has written a must-read book for both seasoned and aspiring business leaders. In Talk is Chief you will learn firsthand why culture, leadership, candid communications and a persistent focus on reinvention are the defining qualities of the world's best-run companies." -- Dave Samson, General Manager of Public Affairs, Chevron Corporation

"There is no one more qualified to talk about the critical role of communication in driving organizational performance. Jack's experiences as journalist, corporate executive, global communications agency leader and mentor mean he has insight to offer every leader, regardless of setting. And he practices what he preaches: you will be inspired, informed and entertained by this book." -- Lisa Macpherson, Fellow, Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative; Former Chief Marketing Officer, Hallmark Cards

About the Author:

Jack Modzelewski is founder and president of JackKnifePR, a business communications consulting firm in Chicago. His extensive career in public relations, marketing, communications, and executive management included roles with global agencies. Most recently, he was president of FleishmanHillard, where he worked for more than 26 years in executive and international positions, including five years as president of Europe & Africa and nearly five as president of the Americas.

Modzelewski has more than thirty-five years of experience with corporate and brand communications programs for a wide spectrum of big clients in the telecommunications, automotive, food service, technology, energy, financial, healthcare, and professional sports industries. He has worked with companies such as McDonald's, AT&T, General Motors, Chase Bank, Baxter, Tribune, Monsanto, and Procter & Gamble. He also advised associations such as the Consumer Electronics Association and not-for-profits such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

He has considerable first-hand experience in corporate and financial communications, mergers and organizational restructurings, issues management, and all means of strategic stakeholder outreach. He has assisted clients in 25 major crises, both domestic and international. One of Modzelewski's past clients called him the "counsellor's counsellor."

He has given speeches and written articles on subjects spanning leadership, international business, marketing and social media, and risk and crisis management. He's attended five World Economic Forum (WEF) conferences in Davos and WEF meetings on five continents. He has been listed on PRWeek's Global Power List and in 2015 was inducted in the Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University. He is currently chairman of the board of the Better Government Association in Illinois, and also sits on the Medill board. Prior to his career in public relations and communications, he was a multi-media, award-winning journalist.


Event date: 

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093