Communications is part of leadership

9 Aug

Let me make a blanket statement: if you can’t communicate, you can’t lead. Leaders need, above all, to be able to communicate, because without communication, they will have no followers and no impact. This is why we prefer loquacious, friendly people as leaders. They want to communicate and they do it well. Tight-lipped, terse people do not inspire following. In fact, people shy away from this type of person.

Recently, a volunteer-run, non-membership based group here in DC had a crisis in leadership. The president gave birth and is on maternity leave, and her second-in-command is on paternity leave at the same time.  There is a vacuum at the top. But what is most disturbing about this is that there has been no communication about this vacuum from this communications group!!!  They have a blog, and it has not been updated since June.  Impending motherhood is fairly predictable in that you know you will have a baby, and even near which date. If you are a leader of a group, perhaps you can make some plans for your absence and COMMUNICATE them? BTW, to my knowledge, this group does not have a Twitter feed or a Facebook page. They do have a group on LinkedIn.

If you don’t communicate with your followers, your followers have no way of knowing what is going on. If they think you are no longer there, they will no longer follow you. It is that simple.

Leadership means being able to communicate, and means being able to plan for the instance when you can’t communicate (this may be called crisis communication planning). If an organization’s leader (CEO, president, manager, whatever) is no longer able to communicate, the organization must have a plan in place to deal with this. A true leader will have the foresight to make planning a part of his/her leadership strategy.

Thoughts?

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