The movie Just Mercy highlights the injustice of one particular case set in the context of multiple failures throughout the criminal justice system. As lawyer Bryan Stevenson fights for the re-trial and release of innocent Walter McMillian, he turns to 60 Minutes to make his case with the public.

In 1987 when the movie takes place, 60 Minutes was the gold standard for investigative news. If there was an issue to be explored, the majority of people counted on the fair reporting of Morley Safer, Mike Wallace and Ed Bradley to ask the tough questions and cause people to think.

While the show is still aired, it no longer represents the final word on a subject. Now no one has ubiquitous coverage and the ability to instill confidence across the masses. Our news is transmitted in niche segments, one contradicting the next until there is confusion, dissent and doubt.

While you are not able to control the information disseminated on a national scale, you can orchestrate the messaging out of your organization. Use the original 60 Minutes as your model. Be timely, share the facts without hype, answer the tough questions and position someone to be the central source that people believe.

In this time of uncertainty, clearly communicating the good, bad and ugly is just what the doctor ordered.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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