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Leaders Win With Clear Communication

I recently took a seminar on leadership in organizational behavior discussing topics like defining effective leadership, what types of people make effective leaders and what results effective leaders produce.  One of the main questions we discussed was that while all companies seek effective leaders, how does one really determine if a person will be an effective leader?
We all have opinions on what defines an effective leader based upon our personal experiences. However, I bet that when you compare those definitions there would be some very telling similarities.
Leadership is defined as the act of leading a group of people toward a common goal. That said, there are many different ways to skin the metaphorical “leadership cat,” but one quality stands out among strong leaders: clear communication skills.
Communication skills are absolutely vital to the success of a leader, which includes both guiding and listening. As a professional communicator, I was obviously glad to hear that among my peers there was both recognition and appreciation for strong communication skills. More importantly, they elaborated that expectations communicated clearly and consistently were the primary key to the success of a leader.
Often, organizations, departments or projects operate with loosely defined expectations that many times are not revisited frequently enough to evaluate whether the effort is successful. In other words, leaders and teams have no way to prove the success of an initiative because they weren’t evaluating outcomes against predetermined goals and benchmarks along the way.
While it is still up for debate as to whether leaders are “born” or “made,” I think anyone in a leadership role, whether appointed or volunteered, can improve his or her chances for success by focusing on clear and consistent communication. Some things to keep in mind are:
1) Clearly define project goals and individual expectations for team members, and set deadlines and consistent points to touch base on project components.
2) Frequently follow up with team members. Be on the look out for any communication or operational bottlenecks. Address them as soon as possible to keep open communication lines. Remain available for questions and advice throughout the process.
3) Don’t forget to evaluate your success by comparing project results to predetermined goals. Also, be sure to gather your team’s input on their perceptions of the success of the project.
While there may be a certain level of knowledge, competency or experience required for particular leadership positions, focusing on clear and consistent communication is vital to improving one’s chances for leadership success.
Ali Glemser is an account executive at Obsidian Public Relations and currently pursuing an MBA through The University of Memphis’ Professional MBA Program. For help in identifying your clear communication goals, reach out at

Posted: 3/23/2016 9:39:46 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Ali, Big, Business, Communication, Glemser, Ideas, Leadership, Obsidian, PR, SBC, Skills, Small

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