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White Paper

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Date:
Aug. 27, 2013
Author:
Jocelyn Berard

Abstract

Accelerating Leadership Development provides a proven model to develop high-potential employees to 1) assume critical roles, and 2) develop competencies, intellectual and knowledge capital. The book offers practical and rigorous tools and practices that enable organizations to identify and develop high-potential individuals, follow-up procedures to ensure activities are executed and results are captured; and leadership best practices to assure that leaders are functioning at a high level. The benchmarks of success are a pipeline of ready leaders, high-potential engagement and retention, and the development of intellectual capital.

Sample

Identifying, developing and retaining great leaders represent perhaps the greatest challenges in any organization. The stakes have been raised in the pending demographic tsunami in the form of aging boomers and the different drivers and demands of the generations coming after them. What leaders, aspiring leaders and HR professionals require is a straightforward, practical and useable guidance about how to ensure that the leadership talent pipeline is filled today and into the future.

Accelerating Leadership Development provides a proven model to develop high-potential employees to 1) assume critical roles, and 2) develop competencies, intellectual and knowledge capital. The book offers practical and rigorous tools and practices that enable organizations to identify and develop high-potential individuals, follow-up procedures to ensure activities are executed and results are captured; and leadership best practices to assure that leaders are functioning at a high level. The benchmarks of success are a pipeline of ready leaders, high-potential engagement and retention, and the development of intellectual capital.

In addition, readers gain access to a unique set of strategies and initiatives designed to enable leaders to built capacity and confidence in their ability to perform. Within a results-oriented framework, the book addresses: communication and delegation strategies; feedback models; shifting responsibility and accountability to direct reports; contemporary coaching and development approaches; the role of performance management; and On- Boarding as an essential business practice.

Ask any retail expert what the three most critical characteristics of a successful retail business are, and invariably they will respond, "Location! Location! Location!" Location is so fundamental to bricks-and-mortar retailer that even if an organization has excellent products, services and people, it cannot be successful if it is in the wrong location. Location is to retail what communication is to interaction between people. Communication is the de facto fundamental success factor of any type of working relationship.

What makes a great leader? When we look back through history, many great leaders come to mind: Winston Churchill, who held together a battered and outnumbered British population in the dark early days of World War II, when the country stood alone against Nazi Germany. "We shall never surrender" stands out among his many radio addresses during those days. Or Ronald Reagan, who took over as U.S. president after the country seemingly had lost its way following Vietnam, the Watergate scandal and the 1979 energy crisis. Or Margaret Thatcher, who turned around a foundering country and was indeed said to have been an inspiration to Reagan.

What did these leaders have in common? They were all effective communicators. So much so, in fact, that was the label that an admiring U.S. press corps affixed to Reagan during his eight years in office. Reagan was a former Hollywood actor who preferred simple messages and solutions to complex ones. He may not have been the most cerebral leader that the United States ever had, but he got his message across. Everyone knew what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it. That was even more the case for Thatcher, who wanted to break the unions' hold on the British economy, and Churchill, whose goals were the survival of the British people and the defeat of the Nazis.

As a leader you should not undervalue your role as communicator. Your team members and the rest of your organization take their cues from you. Whether you give positive reinforcement or helpful criticism, what you communicate has impact.

Communication creates, shapes and sustains the environment in which you and your employees work. Just as Churchill and the rest of his ilk proved, the way that you communicate can demonstrate your positive traits (such as steadfastness, optimism and determination), create buy-in and build employee engagement. It can demonstrate your trustworthiness as you "walk the talk," doing what you say you are going to do, and it can also reflect your honesty and authenticity.

For Alan Booth, an associate partner and human resources specialist at consulting giant Deloitte, leaders who are effective communicators need to have a bit of Churchill in them: "The message has to be given with candor, brevity and color."

In a national survey conducted by Global Knowledge's research group, communication was rated as the most important competency to a leader's success. This discovery wasn't surprising. Studies and reports with similar results have been published every decade since the 1960s. Communication has long been touted as the most important factor in leadership effectiveness. But what, if anything, has changed? Is the way that people communicate today different than the way they communicated in the 1960s? The answer is what the French would call une réponse de Normand: yes and no.

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Format:
PDF
Total Pages:
16