Friday, August 31, 2012
Being a great communicator can be a challenge, especially for top-level executives. After all, there are either few, or no peers within their organization, and there are few employees that will risk being honest about a CEO’s job performance. The recent blog post on Harvard Business Review – Are You Sure You’re Not a Bad Boss? by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman – includes four failures in communication that can hurt organizational leadership:
Failure to improve – “Arrogance and complacency combine in the poorest leaders as they rise, causing them to come to the dangerous conclusion that they’ve reached a stage in their careers where development is no longer required.” CEOs need to grasp the importance of developing. In some cases this involves using an executive coach for un-biased, yet safe performance feedback (see The Best Leaders Are The Best Learners all members).
An inability to collaborate – “Poor leaders avoid their peers, act independently, and fail to develop positive relations with colleagues.” Resources are never infinite, and this includes the knowledge base that executives use to lead their organizations. When resources or knowledge are in short supply, the ability to collaborate is critical.
A lack of clear vision – “Poor leaders…are (not surprisingly) unwilling to communicate about the future, leaving their subordinates with no clear path forward.” Leaders must have both a clear vision for the future, and the ability to communicate that to the different stakeholders in an organization.
A failure to develop others – “Leaders who were not concerned about helping their direct reports develop and were not seen as coaches or mentors were highly likely to fail.” Effective change management in the health and human service industry means preparing your followership with both a clear vision, as well as the knowledge skills needed for the job (see Are You Just A Guy Taking A Walk? all members and Building Your Team’s Management Competencies ).
Great leadership not only means improving the leader’s own communication skills, but the communication skills within the rest of the organization – this is critical to organizational success (see The Personality Side of Leadership all members). If you have any thoughts on leadership that you would like to share, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join me September 12-14 in Gettysburg for The 2012 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Institute.
Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS
For another free resource, see: Four Challenges Leaders Face all members
This is free for the next sixty days to all registered OPEN MINDS Circle members.