The leader must convey the message effectively so that everyone understands it and can mirror it. He or she must have an innate ability to repeat the same message with enthusiasm and energy every time.
Conveying the message with gusto puts a fire in the belly of people and helps the leader aspire to reach the goals in place.
So how is it done? How do leaders put their leadership on parade?
Communication tools like the company intranet site, e-mails, webinars, blogging, and company newsletters are all worthwhile means. These are all technological ways to communicate with people, but are they enough to convince employees and convey the message?
I think that even in the largest companies today, personal interactions are still the most effective means of communication. While it may not be possible to sit with each person one on one, communication can take many forms that are just as effective. For example, presentations can be made in auditoriums where participants can feel free to ask questions or present problems.
I admire leaders who get up from behind the desk and do a spontaneous walkabout in the office or plant floor, or travel to their facilities wherever they might be located. Nothing sends a bigger message than leaders who commit to seeing their people.
It is interesting to watch leaders who are in the media spotlight talk about their company on radio, television, the Internet, or in print. It is another means of conveying the company message and informing people about their vision.
All of these means are useful because they allow for repetition of the leader’s message, which is completely responsible for having the most impact. Consistency is important, and the leader should take every opportunity to speak to employees wherever and whenever possible.
Presenting with Authority
This is not always the easiest thing to do when it comes to conveying the message, especially when certain leaders have typically led by issuing directives. Presenting with authority and power is a learned skill.
One of the best leaders I have been around is a former Marine.
He is a towering 6’5” tall, and when he speaks, people listen. They listen because of several reasons. First are his appearance and body language; he is always dressed appropriately; and even on occasions in more casual settings, you will not find him in flip-flops and a yellow-ringed t-shirt.
He stands straight. He looks you in the eye when he talks and never wavers from that. He is steady and warm, and appeals to your heart and mind. He has credibility, is authentic, and is candid when he speaks. He reveals his humility, which I have always found fascinating.
During his presentations, he is not glued to the lectern; in fact, I do not ever recall watching him stand behind one. He supports his message with gestures and puts his whole body into the presentation. He displays his sense of humor while telling stories that involve the audience. He pauses during the presentation to allow the message to sink in. The silence at that moment is brilliant, and the audience becomes even further engaged.
What extraordinary traits these are! And guess what he is able to do?
He is able to convey the message.
In fact, he conveys the message so effectively that there are no misunderstandings.
The message is always memorable and clear.