It may be obvious, but I must say it anyway: LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATION BEGINS WITH YOU.
The word “leadership” can suggest a variety of images. For example:
- A political leader, pursuing a passionate, personal cause.
- An explorer, cutting a path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow.
- An executive, developing her company’s strategy to beat the competition.
Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization. It is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.
While leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination in a smooth and efficient way. Communication skills are paramount to the effective delivery of that guidance.
Above all else, leadership starts with the leader. If you can’t lead yourself, how can you expect to lead others? Over the next few weeks we will discuss leading yourself, designing your own leadership vision, and building the stage from which you will communicate it. This approach will enable you to be a real leader. Lastly, we will look at techniques for testing your effectiveness as a leader.
Let’s try something a little different by utilizing a discussion format. This could either work marvelously or I will find I am talking to myself. I will start off the discussion by asking you to consider your response to five statements. The statements are designed to help us look introspectively with an intent of discovering where we are at in our leadership thinking. Easy! Each statement should solicit a “yes” or “no” response.
- I have made it clear to my team why our department exists and how it fits into the entire organization’s picture.
- I can say, with confidence, that every member of my team knows who is responsible for what and when.
- My team can state “why” and “how” their functions support the organization.
- I have verified my team’s understanding.
- I answered “Yes” to the first four statements.
Ask yourself this: Who doesn’t feel better when they know how they fit into the bigger picture and that the work they do is valued?
If you answered “Yes” to the first four statements, what benefits are you seeing from your efforts to communicate effectively?
If you answered “No” to any of the questions, what help do you need to support your team in their understanding?
Let’s talk! We will continue our discussion next week with exploring leading yourself first.
Until next week!
Let’s Talk sponsored by ITeffectivity.com – an IT Executive Coaching and Advisory practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people and process capabilities. Discover the possibilities by scheduling a complimentary strategy session with Mary Patry.