Communicating   Collaborating   Persuading   Presenting   Directing

I am often hired to teach and coach senior executives in the use of these skills and some resist almost violently, displaying frustration, it is as if they believe that “telling, ordering and demanding” (TOD) always will work. I get to watch and learn as they work on developing their skills, sadly many don’t get that the ability to communicate with clarity is the greatest skill needed on the path to leadership. I am glad to note that the younger the leader the easier it is coach them and they adopt the skills with eagerness.

“Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and of tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.” — Admiral James B. Stockdale

Telling – Ordering – Demanding TOD

Leadership is NOT – is just doing! Or telling, ordering, demanding and consequences.

The TOD model can work short term and in an emergency, however to build a company they will not work long-term. Using TOD all the time creates an atmosphere of fear, apprehension and burnout, leading to the loss of top people, burnout or worse creates long-term enemies. There are no natural born leaders, just those willing to do the work.

As a leader, your most valuable resource is the people you lead, their energy, loyalty, abilities, feedback and commitment to you. Your ability to lead them is vital and to waste these precious assets by being a TOD is ego-based leader insures failure long-term.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen” Winston Churchill

Some of your people will need to be persuaded, gently nudged in certain direction to achieve the goal. Others will need to objectives communicated in a very specific manner, for some it’s all about collaboration. When as a leader you get up to present it is critical you are ‘real’ displaying your normal dynamic self, and you must demonstrate you can speak well (skill – in your own style).

Leadership is “ART” that uses many types of communications skills just as the artist uses many colors to create a masterpiece.