Communication is the glue that holds organizations together; it is the chief means by which people relate to one another. The aim of organizational communications is to ensure that everyone understands both the external and internal issues facing the organization and what individuals must do to contribute to the organization's success.
Communications belongs to everyone in the organization; it is not a functional responsibility limited to marketing, public relations, or human resources. Communications must become a core competency—the responsibility of everyone within the organization.
A key element of organizational communications is the messages from the leader that we call leadership communications. The chapters in Part I will show you how to develop your own leadership point of view, which you can develop into your leadership message.
At the end of each chapter are vignettes of exemplary leadership communicators. Frequently they focus on a specific moment in time when the leader used his or her communications skills to convey a leadership message in a manner that affected the vision or mission of an organization and resulted in a positive outcome.
This collection is by no means definitive. In fact, a good argument could be made that every successful leader is at heart an effective leadership communicator. The leaders presented come from all walks of life. The single unifying thread is that they all have a personal leadership style that is rooted in communications as a means of accomplishing their vision, mission, and goals as a leader for the good of their organization and for themselves as contributors to the organization.
It is worth noting that not all of the leaders included in these vignettes are world-class orators—few leaders are. All of them, however, do have an exceptional ability to communicate their ideas with words and to listen with their hearts. Each of them shows us how to lead in thoughts, words, and deeds, and in that, all are exceptional leadership communicators.
Each of the vignettes concludes with Leadership Communications Lessons that are designed to help you identify particular leadership communication strengths. You will notice that many of the lesson points occur repeatedly—with new examples, of course. This is for good reason. Good leadership communications depends upon constancy, consistency, and frequency.