John W. Gardner observed, “If I had to name a single all-purpose instrument of leadership, it would be communication.” Perhaps you are familiar with my books on leadership; then you know that I believe everything rises and falls on leadership. What I haven’t mentioned before is that leadership rises and falls on communication.
If you lead your team, give yourself these standards to live by as you communicate to your
1. Be consistent. Nothing frustrates team members more than leaders who can’t make up
their minds. One of the things that won the team over to Gordon Bethune when he was at
Continental was the consistency of his communication. His employees always knew they
could depend on him and what he said.
2. Be clear. Your team cannot execute if the members don’t know what you want. Don’t try
to dazzle anyone with your intelligence; impress people with your straightforwardness.
3. Be courteous. Everyone deserves to be shown respect, no matter what the position or
what kind of history you might have with him. By being courteous to your people, you set the tone for the entire organization.
Never forget that because you are the leader, your communication sets the tone for the
interaction among your people. Teams always reflect their leaders. And never forget that
good communication is never one-way. It should not be top-down or dictatorial. The best
leaders listen, invite, and then encourage participation.
—The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork – John Maxwell
BE AWARE TODAY THAT YOUR COMMUNICATION IS SETTING THE TONE WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LEAD.