Is Your Message in a Bottle?
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” –Jack Welch
A client came to me recently and was deeply troubled because he felt that he was failing at communication – one of the key skills of a leader. When I asked him why he felt that way he said because the employees just didn’t get his vision for the organization. As I continued to ask more questions, I discovered that he had really only communicated his vision to employees one time in a full staff meeting soon after he had arrived, which at that time of our discussion had been over six months ago.
This is the communication style that I like to call “message in a bottle”. You communicate your message once – and hopefully someone will get it. Maybe they will…maybe they won’t…and you certainly can’t guarantee when they will get it.
As a leader, you have to continue saying what is important – your vision for the organization, the goals you have set, the values you want the employees to share, whatever it is – over and over and over again. It’s only with repetition and example that employees begin to understand what you are saying and begin to embrace the ideas you are creating for them.
Opportunity for Reflection:
When you think you have communicated enough, you’re probably wrong. Just keep going. With each new communication, whether it be written, verbal, or visual, if you get the attention of just one more person, you’ve made a difference. And – you are helping gain support for your efforts along the way.