Who is a stakeholder?

A number of years ago, Paul Dinsmore quoted a trainee who defined a stakeholder as ‘one who holds the beef’. In many situations, a fairly accurate description!

During a trip to Paul’s second home in Rio de Janeiro last year, my wonderful hosts from PMI Rio, introduced me to professional steak-holders…… and the steak was good!

Which more than anything else defines the problem with communicating in English. Communication is not that simple even when using basic words sometimes spelled different but pronounced the same, stake -v- steak. Sometimes spelled the same but pronounced differently. Whilst you are mulling over this I will just take a minute to polish the Polish pewter I intend to present to a friend as a present (ie, give as a gift).

One of the key themes in my new book Advising Upwards is the different ‘languages’ used by managers at different levels of an organisation. Communicating effectively is a skilled art that needs practice and you need to speak in the language of the listener to achieve the greatest effect.


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