Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Communicate the future to drive the present

Great book by Kevin Murray - - The Language of Leaders: How top CEOs communicate to inspire, influence, and achieve results (2012).  Murray interviews 60 UK business and government leaders regarding the intersection of communications and leadership.  Murray writes the following:

"Inspiring leaders make us want to achieve more.  They persuade us to their cause, win our active support, help us to work better together and make us to work better together and make us feel proud to be part of the communities they create.  They communicate tirelessly, and it is their skill at listening and talking that keeps ups passionately connected to their vision."

Each chapter has a list of key points.  These are the points from the chapter on the need for communicating about the future - -
  • Paint a vivid picture of success.
  • Describe the future both in rational terms (the numbers) and emotional terms (how it will feel for all concerned).
  • This bringing together of the rational and the emotional is key to inspiring people.
  • This future, though, has to be expressed in benefit terms for all the people with a vested interest in the performance of the organization - - customers, shareholders, local communities, suppliers and partners and, most importantly, employees.
  • Leaders make sure their vision presents sustainable success for all. 
  • Leaders must not only explain the future, they must also explain why it is necessary to change, and give a sense of hope and optimism to the businesses they lead, through what they say.
  • Leaders ensure their people understand what quality of relationship will be needed with their key stakeholders.
  • Fusing the future vision (what success will look and feel like) to the mission (what important thing we are here to do) and to the values (how we do it) completes the pictures.

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