This guide shows how to develop and deliver the leadership message: how to develop it for organizationwide communications, create strong e-communications, and connect with the winning presentation. The book features a multipart communications planner, complete with illustrations, that provides advice and examples on how to craft a powerful presentation, deliver it with style, and create a lasting relationship. This guide contains four sections:
Part I deals with developing the leadership message, which is defined as a communication from the leader that covers a key organizational or business issue and is rooted in the cultural values of the organization. Examples of leadership messages include vision and mission statements, calls for transformational change, and calls to action. The main purpose of a leadership message is to build trust. The effectiveness of the leadership communication depends upon how it is communicated and in what manner it is disseminated—all-employee meetings, face-to-face, video, or email. Developing the message includes planning and proper selection of communication channels. Part I also traces the development of the message by tracking the evolution of a topic from its inception through the stages of an outline, draft, revision, and visualization.
Part II covers the delivery of the leadership message. The leader must take what is in the message and proclaim it to the outside world. The leader must know the audience and what it expects to hear. An understanding of audience perception is essential to success at the podium. Connecting to the audience through voice and movement is necessary to underscore intention.
Part III involves sustaining the leadership message. The work is not complete when the presentation is over; communications is an ongoing process. Essential to communications is ensuring continuous feedback. Leaders need to iterate and reiterate their messages in ways that connect beyond words. An element of this connection involves coaching. Coaching is really leadership communication on an individual level. Leaders use their ability to communicate to develop their people to the next level of performance, both for the job they are in now and for the future.
Appendix A is the "putting it all together" section. It includes Summary Notes, reiteration of key points; Action Steps, or suggestions for demonstrating leadership through communications; and the Leadership Communications Action Planner, a practical guide to communicating leadership messages and behaviors in the workplace.
Intercut throughout are real-life examples of how leaders have used communications to amplify their leadership. Written in the style of vignettes, these stories, gleaned from history, business, and sports, illustrate key principles of leadership communication. Each story concludes with a dot-point summary of the leadership message.