Joe O’Neill – There was a recent web post by Sarmad Hasan, titled The Top 15 Leadership Qualities That Make Good Leaders. The listed qualities were not especially radical. Two-thirds of the qualities Hasan identified involve the way leaders communicate, followed by honesty, integrity, empathy, and humility.
It seems to me that while there are many traits which come together to create a good leader James C. Maxwell noted the most important: the ability to “know the way, go the way, and show the way.” Leaders must be able to communicate why the objective at hand is important, the ramifications of failure, and the benefits of success.
Good leaders understand this need. They cultivate the skills to explain why they expect the team to achieve a specific objective. There is no better example of successful leadership than Sir Winston Churchill. In May of 1940, as the Luftwaffe dropped bombs nightly on East London. Churchill was a conservative and although it was contrary to his fundamental beliefs, he ordered the citizens to shelter in designated underground stations when they heard the air raid sirens. Despite resistance, including from his own cabinet, he spoke to the people of London and communicated the rationale for his decision clearly and concisely knowing it would save lives. He knew that if there were thousands of civilian fatalities each night, Great Britain would be forced to surrender long before the country could mount a strong defense. Churchill believed it was his nation’s only chance of survival.
Importance of Communicating Well
The ability to communicate the why is crucial for business leaders to be successful. Miscommunication, lack of understanding, and confusion can derail a critical project, and can damage the reputation of any company. Ensure people know their specific roles, their value to the team, and the objective that you seek to achieve.
Great leaders are always outstanding communicators who understand the why and have the skill to explain it to all stakeholders. It is essential to success.
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