John Hewson writing an opinion piece on the integrity of public leaders stated that leadership is “about action, and not just position.” He provides a greate definition that can provide leaders with a compass about how to communicate:
“its very essence is the capacity to formulate, articulate and market a vision, develop a strategy to achieve it, and turn that into reality…” [emphasis mine].
Communication is a central requirement of good leadership.
There were a number of communication events and conferences in Sydney this week. The Fin ran an article on employee communications across a number of large organisations including IBM, St George, and IAG. Common to all cases is the need for an authentic voice in order for the message – and the leader – to be trusted and valued.
As a communication advisor, there have been times when the role has been to make my words invisible and enable the client to find their own voice. This gets results. To see the moment of connection between a leader and their team that is the result of genuine human communication is exciting. Once people connect in a real way, it is much harder for misinformation or misunderstanding to hold on.
The reverse is also true; once people have engaged, there is a greater burden on the leader to maintain this level of open communication. There is a price. The leader also has a greater responsibility to follow through with consistent action or lose the trust they have built.