Great communications quote in one of the Wharton Knowledge newsletters that I get. “You can never err on the side of communication as a leader,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of the US World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “In the absence of communication, you will be surprised by the incredible things they assume about you…. It’s great to have a vision, but where I see people fall down” is when they fail to “communicate that vision in every way, shape and form, every second of the day.”
Communications is an integral part of leadership today. We see it being played out right now in the political arena. Obama is a gifted communicator. Hillary, on the other hand, had to communicate her emotional side in order to change the storyline about herself that might have cost her New Hampshire. When people ask me why communications is so important, I remind them how they felt on September 11th waiting for President Bush to speak about the horrific tragedy. Despite what people may think about him today, his words on 9.11 were critical to reassuring to Americans and helped steady this nation’s sense of loss. The wrong words would have been devastating. Unfortunately we saw what happens when leadership communications does fail — when the levees broke in New Orleans and the White House communicated too late about the destruction of homes and human lives. Without a doubt, communications can build or erode leadership reputation as much as any crisis.
A good quote for the day.