Leaders Are Communicators

Reflecting on Paul, perhaps the greatest leader (outside of Jesus) in the early church. He came out of nowhere. He was not part of the inner circle. Heck, he wasn’t in any circles when Jesus was alive. We don’t hear about him until after the resurrection and the formation of the early church. And then he was an instigator.

Then, he was converted. He was taught. He was commissioned.

He visited little groups of followers and taught and preached. He encouraged them to grow in numbers and in strength of spirit.

He also wrote. That’s how we know about him today. We all study what he wrote way back then in letters that he could only hope would make it to their destinations, let alone make it into books that we read today.

He had a vision. He had passion. But he exploited that through his use of the written and spoken word.

Much as  I never much cared for Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, he did teach me one thing from his books–the importance of crafting your message as a leader and then speaking and writing that message at every opportunity. As a leader, you have to get your message out.

I have interviewed the senior leadership of a $7 billion automation company many times. I’ll interview the CEO, and he’ll give me the message. Then I’ll interview three or four senior vice presidents. They’ll all give me that message as it relates to their areas. Then I’ll talk to director level people. Same thing. The message gets through.

How about your organization? Does it have a message? Is it clearly articulated such that just about everyone can understand it? If I interviewed all the people in your organization, would they be able to tell me what the message is and be able to relate it to their role?

In some of the organizations where I am in a leadership role, I find myself communicating all the time. Emails, notes, brochures, phone calls, text messages, Facebook or Website. You’ve got to use every means available.

If you are working quietly away from people, you’re probably not leading.

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