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Breaking Through: Communicating to Open Minds, Move Hearts, and Change the World

Breaking Through: Communicating to Open Minds, Move Hearts, and Change the World

Current price: $30.00
Publication Date: March 28th, 2023
Harvard Business Review Press
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Dec 8 10:45am
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A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Pfizer's trailblazing communications leader, Sally Susman, reveals how we can break through the noise to get our message across and make positive change.

A global pandemic. A roller-coaster economy. Political tensions ready to ignite, and common civility at an all-time low. For leaders, the pressures and the stakes could not be higher. And in such a stormy, often dangerous world, communications can no longer be considered a soft skill. The ability to reach people and drive public conversation is a rock-hard competency.

In this wise and inspiring book, Sally Susman, the renowned head of corporate affairs at global biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer, tells the fascinating story of how the company managed the massive communications challenge that came with Covid-19 and the race to produce an effective vaccine. Just as crucial as creating the vaccine itself was the task of winning people's hearts and minds, and Susman highlights the principles that enabled her to break through, connect, and help move people forward, not only at Pfizer but over a long and stellar career. She shows how clarifying and channeling your intention is an essential first step: What are you trying to say? She illustrates how leaders need to muster the courage to be candid in order to be effective and how, in order to connect, they must both disarm with humility and delight with humor. As a gay, married woman, she talks forthrightly about the challenges and opportunities of embracing who you are, both at home and in the workplace.

Susman's stories will draw you in with their warmth and humanity, and enlighten and motivate you with their insight and passion. Breaking Through is essential reading for any leader who faces the daunting challenge of communicating in our noisy, turbulent world.

About the Author

Sally Susman is Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer. She is also Vice Chair of the Pfizer Foundation. She leads engagement with all of Pfizer's external stakeholders, overseeing communications, corporate responsibility, global policy, government relations, investor relations, and patient advocacy. Before joining Pfizer in 2007, she held several senior communications and government relations roles at The Estée Lauder Companies and American Express. Earlier in her career, she spent eight years in government service, focused on international trade issues.Connect with Sally Susman at