5 Key Thoughts and Principles of Leadership (Part 5 of 5)

This is the last in the series of key thoughts and principles of leadership from an interview with a CEO.  You can find the previous key thoughts and principles below:

Part 1: Know Who You Are     Part 2: Be a Listener/Listen Broadly

Part 3: Courage and Attitude   Part 4: What is your Philosophy of Leadership

5-COMMUNICATION-What do you believe in and how can you communicate that most effectively?  You say more by saying less. Be authentic and genuine. We all can learn a lot and do a better job with this.  Style never displaces substance.  you have to avoid the situation where your team says…”Pass me the hemlock please”.  You have to work on your communication skills all the time-you always can improve.  You deploy the right style with the right audience , then tailor the message-length, style, substance.

Are leaders and great communicators born or made? I get this question a lot.  I believe that lots of leadership skills that can be learned. Even if you are not wired that way-you can get over that.

Two questions you need to ask yourself:

1-Before you say anything that is emotionally charged, ask yourself “Is what I am about to say necessary?” I have to ask you…If you sit in meetings, how much commentary would not pass that test?    Ask yourself, “Will what I am about to say advance the discussion, add a new dimension that matters and is relevant and important OR is what I have to say a regurgitation of what others have said?”   If what you want to say needs to be backed up, it is necessary. But if it is argumentative for sake of disagreeing, you don’t do it. This works in families as well.

2-Is what I am about to say, kind?  I mean this in an exploratory and inquiry based way, not sugar and spice.  How you say things is more important than what you are going to say.  Will you say it in the right way and will it be constructive or destructive?  How many times have we seen a relevant point delivered in the wrong way?