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Leadership Communications Cheat Sheet by

Effective leadership communication
communication     effective     leadership


Leadership commun­ica­tions consists of those messages from a leader that are rooted in the values and culture of an organi­zation and are of signif­icant importance to key stakeh­olders, e.g., employees, customers, strategic partners, shareh­olders, and the media. These messages affect the vision, mission, and transf­orm­ation of an organi­zation. The chief intention of a leadership message is to build trust between the leader and her or his consti­tuency. Traits of leadership commun­ica­tions reflect:
Significance - Messages are about big issues that reflect the present and future of the organi­zation (e.g., people, perfor­mance, products, and services).
Values - Messages reflect vision, mission, and culture.
Consistency - Messages exemplify stated values and behaviors.
Cadence - Messages occur with regularity and frequency.

In its simplest form, leadership commun­ication flows from the leader­ship's perspe­ctive. It is grounded in the character of the leader and the values of the organi­zat­ion. It is an expression of culture as well as an indicator of the climate, e.g., openness, integrity, and honesty.

Purpose of Leadership Commun­ica­tions

There are many types of leadership commun­ica­tions. Each of them emerges from a leadership action that is commun­icated from the point of view of the leader­—i.e., doing what is beneficial for the organi­zation and the people in it. Leadership commun­ica­tions are designed to engage the listener, gain commit­ment, and ultimately create a bond of trust between leader and follower. They also do something more: They drive results, enabling leader and follower to work together more effici­ently because they understand the issues and know what has to be done to accomplish their goals.

Leadership Commun­ica­tions Model

Leadership messages do the following

Specif­ically, leadership messages do one or more of the following:
Affirm organi­zat­ional vision and mission. These messages let people know where the organi­zation is headed and what it stands for.
Drive transf­orm­ational initia­tiv­es, e.g., change! These messages get people prepared to do things differ­ently and give the reasons why.
Issue a call to action. These messages galvanize people to rally behind an initia­tive. They tell people what to do and how to do it.
Reinforce organi­zat­ional capabi­lity. These messages underscore the company's strengths and are designed to make people feel good about the organi­zation for which they work.
Create an enviro­nment in which motivation can occur. These messages provide reasons why things are done and create a path of success for people to follow. They also describe the benefits of success, e.g., a more compet­itive organi­zation, more opport­unities for promotion, or increased compen­sation.
Promote a product or service (and affirm its link to the organi­zat­ion's vision, mission, and values). These messages place what the organi­zation produces within the mission, culture, and values of the organi­zation; e.g., we create products that improve people's lives.

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