The research is pretty overwhelming and so is the wisdom of those who have lead the way before us as successful organizational leaders…
89% of business professionals believe that communicating with a solid level of clarity and confidence directly impacts their career and income. Distinction January 2015 client database survey
Leaders who are ‘highly effective’ communicators had 47%
higher total returns to shareholders over the previous five years. 2011-12 Change and Communication ROI Study Towers Watson
The highly successful business tycoon, Warren Buffet touts a 50% increase in person income over a lifetime for those with good speaking skills.
So here’s the $64,000 question (or half-million according to Buffet). If the evidence is so compellingly clear about this powerful correlation between success and personal communication skills, then why are so few leaders running out and gobbling up the time of every presentation coach between LA and Boston?
The answer is found in a simple story.
When the highly successful NFL head coach Tom Landry from the Dallas Cowboys finally retired from football after 25 years in 1989, he left an amazing legacy as a leader of men.
During his retirement banquet he was asked if he could answer a few questions from the fans and media who were present that night.
As he approached the podium, a hand quickly shot up in the crowd. An enthusiastic reporter asked him, “Coach Landry, what do you attribute your long, successful career as a head coach?” After thinking for a moment, this southern gentlemen offered up this simple insight.
“I always saw my job as getting men to do what they didn’t want to do so they could achieve what they always wanted to achieve.”
Doing the hard things in life.
He managed to capture the essence of why most leaders today settle for being just average communicators at best. It takes time they don’t feel they have, a prioritization they don’t feel is necessary or a vulnerability they are unwilling to experience.
In other words… it’s hard.
Becoming the kind of leader that can challenge, motivate and inspire with their delivery skills takes intent and practice. It always will. It asks for a measure of courage to step out of their personal comfort zone because the stakes are simply too high not to. And it requires support teams who are keenly aware that “how” their executive delivers an important message will always be a much stronger catalyst for change than a presentation full of statistics and a catchy set of visuals.
What is your organizational giving up because some of your leaders
simply can’t or won’t take the time to sharpen this critical skill set?