Speechwriters, here’s how to help top execs become thought leaders

First, find the smartest person in the organization and buy them coffee

I’ve been waiting for a couple of weeks to share the best idea I heard at the Ragan Speechwriters and Executive Communicators Conference, and I will wait no longer.

UPS executive communications director Dean Faust, who wowed the crowd with all the cool stuff he’s doing at UPS since he got there a little more than a year ago, did one thing that would help just about every executive communicator:

Wanting to start an executive thought leadership blog, he went to some top people in the organization and asked: Irrespective of rank, who are the 20 smartest people at UPS? He bought them each coffee and asked them for their ideas—and for recommendations for more smart UPSers.

Company executives want to be thought leaders. Executive communicators should be idea finders. You’ll be hearing much more from Faust—and soon.

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