We were sitting in a small conference room when I asked the senior team what their core message related to the strategic plan was for the coming quarter. The first person gave me her to do list, and second person talked for four minutes but her message was lost in the color commentary. The next person talked about other peoples’ messages, and one person could not come up with a message. The last person stated that his message was “get it done.” I listened and thought to myself that the results of these messages will be confusion and complacency.
The world of leadership is complex and the problems we face are complex. However, the solutions do not have to be complex. The more complex the solution, then the more complex it is to communicate them.
James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book, A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass, 2006, remind us that “The purpose of leaders is to mobilize others to serve a purpose.” As they note, purpose is passed on through the stories we share with others.
I know today that companies all over the globe want to achieve buy-in. They want to capture peoples’ attention and to create urgency, not fear. Then, with people paying attention, these same companies want to win over the minds and the hearts of those who work at that company.
But, it all begins with a clear message. So, what is your message this quarter? And how does it connect with the core purpose or mission of your organization plus the strategic plan?
Finding the answer is the first step in becoming a better leader.