So far in this series I have discussed The Visionary and The Listener. Now you may be thinking that leaders should be able to communicate, so why would I write a complete article on the leader’s need to communicate? The answer is simple: because traditionally leaders do not actually communicate – they read speeches written by others and get public relations people to send out press releases on their behalf. The excuse for these actions is that the leader has more important things to do. Really what is more important than leading? Who are you leading then if something is more important than the people you lead?
We could say that in many cases the profits and the financial issues are more important. Certainly yes, to a toxic leader his own need to gather vast amounts of money at the expense of the people would definitely make sense. But then who makes the company money, is it not people? Should a leader not be communicating directly with these people?
Perhaps leaders traditionally did not communicate with people as that would have made them more accountable? Could that be true? Then the question needs to be asked – were these just titles or were they leaders? We need to think and ponder more when we hear people saying things and accept a little less of the bull. We should have higher expectations of our leaders.
As mentioned in my other articles – 80% of our success comes from listening. Leaders cannot be effective communicators if they have not listened, and as John Maxwell says ‘People don’t care what you know, until they know how much you care’.
As we move from the Technological Age to the Human Age, leaders will need to communicate and can no longer rely on the systems and people to do the communication for them. If a leader allows other people to communicate for him, regardless of medium used – the person communicating forms the relationship and not the leader. In my article Warning to Business Leaders Using Social Media I told leaders this. That may have been a harsh article then, but it is becoming a reality lately. It is truly amazing how quickly things change and what was once a thought is now the only way to operate.
Why is it important that the leader communicates directly with his followers? – The amount of information people receive daily from television, radio and all the online platforms is astronomical. If the leader cannot keep the connection with their followers, they will lose the ability to communicate with them in the midst of all this noise. Without this consistent communication the people will soon lose the vision, become insecure and look for a leader that will give them what they need!
I welcome your commentary … How will leaders need to be in the future? In the next two articles I will look at The Connector and The Leader.