1st Edition

Fostering Employee Buy-in Through Effective Leadership Communication

By Tim P. McMahon Copyright 2022
    296 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    296 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Based on a case study of leadership communication in a time of organizational change, this book gives new leaders insights into the tools and skills needed to become effective, motivating communicators in their leadership careers.


    Taking a holistic approach to communication and leadership, the book argues that employees buy in to change when they collectively feel engaged in meaningful work that will enrich the lives of customers, employees, and investors. Based on ethnographic research, it approaches the topic through an absorbing fiction-like retelling of an organization’s successful navigation of change against the backdrop of the 2007 mortgage crisis. In doing so, it establishes a framework for leaders to understand the principles behind how and why buy-in is generated in organizations. This unique approach allows readers to visualize leadership communication principles in practice.


    Fostering Employee Buy-in is ideal as a supplementary text in introductory leadership communication, management, and business courses or as a text for new leaders interested in inspiring organizational change.

    Part 1: Setting the scene 

    1. Success runs through the customer 

    Part 2: One road 

    2. Friction creates the pearl 

    3. Knowing is doing  

    4. I got your back 

    Part 3: The essentials of leadership  

    5. Where are we headed? 

    6. Culture in the pearl 

    7. Real change is in renewal 

    8. Learning to learn 

    Part 4: Tools for crafting leadership that thrives 

    9. Communication Strategy 

    10. Communication execution 

    11. Uncommon sense 

    12. Innovation 

    13. Smooth operations 

    Part 5: Conclusion

    14. Fostering buy-in


    Tim P. McMahon is Associate Professor of Practice in the Heider College of Business at Creighton University, USA. He has founded and led radio stations, restaurants and marketing agencies and was senior marketing communications officer at a Fortune 100 company. He holds a Ph.D. from Gonzaga University.

    "I have worked with Timmy Mac for 20 years, teaching together at NYU and consulting together on things business, life and family. He is one of those rare strategic and marketing communicators who has ‘done it’ and ‘taught it’ at high levels. Everywhere, he sees leadership as organic to success. Whether you’re sitting with Tim over coffee in Manhattan or Omaha, in a classroom or business meeting, you are never bored. Meet McMahon, one heck of a storyteller."—John Doorley, Associate Professor of Strategic Communications at Elon University, USA, and Co-author of Reputation Management and Rethinking Reputation

    "McMahon sat in the chair at a high level and knows first-hand what happens when leaders communicate effectively. With scholarly support he draws out the critical keys to unlock the power of buy-in. Recognize the cues and opportunities; then energize your team!"—Bruce C. Rohde, Chairman & CEO Emeritus, ConAgra Foods

    "Tim brings the application of provocative theories to life by incorporating them into the everyday struggles of an enlightened leader who effectively fosters true buy-in. A delightful read."—Helio Fred Garcia, President, Logos Consulting Group, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Leadership, Ethics and Communication, New York University and Columbia University, USA

    "Leadership communication is at the heart of many social business challenges and opportunities. Tim McMahon has described the importance of principled servant leadership built through communities of practice that focus upon customer and stakeholder value."—Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, Peter Kiewit Distinguished Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

    "‘The problem today is that everything communicates...,’ and this book does just that - communicates the author’s passion for customer-privileged leadership by communicating his experience and scholarship through the generously peppered anecdotes from real-life successes. The book is meant for students, scholars and laypersons alike. I loved every bit of it."—Dr. Richard Rego, S.J., Associate Professor and Director of the Global Engagement Center, St. Joseph’s College Autonomous, Bangalore, India

    "This book is deceptively simple. Amid extensive use of tales, analogies and metaphors outflows the essence of the author’s lifelong study of leadership and communication. Key components leading to effective leadership communication are expounded and bolstered—in an intimate tone—with findings in philosophy, literature and cognitive science, just to name a few. The book gains life from the characters who vividly embody the author’s wisdom, keen observations and hands-on experiences in the field. The book itself is a masterpiece of communication. Besides scholars and practitioners of management, students of language and cross-cultural studies may also benefit from the communication techniques employed in the book."—Fang Song, Lecturer of linguistics and business English, Shandong Jiaotong University, Jinan, Shandong, China