“What we have here is a failure to communicate…”
When the actor Paul Newman gets whacked to the ground in “Cool Hand Luke,” the chain gang boss looms over the dazed con and casually utters this now-famous line.
In the movie, Newman’s disconnect with the chain gang boss and his inability to express himself almost costs him his life.
In business, a failure to communicate can cost jobs and money, and billions in lost opportunity.
For example, when scientists from the Xerox Research Lab in California failed to persuade the suits in Rochester, New York, of the value of computers and what would later become the Internet, Xerox missed one of the biggest opportunities in business history.
When Wall Street hired nuclear physicists and math PhDs to design exotic new financial instruments, the bankers were unable to comprehend the complexities of the very products they were selling—because they had no idea what the eggheads were talking about. The resulting flood of mortgage-backed securities and other dubious derivatives brought the nation to the brink of financial catastrophe, crushed global markets, and destroyed trillions of dollars in wealth.
What Skills Do Business Leaders Value Most?
Maybe it’s because of train wrecks like these that Business Leaders the world over say they value Leadership Communications skills above all other business skills. They want people who can talk with confidence and effectiveness to anyone, anywhere.
Business Leaders value Leadership Communications skills above all other skills.
How do you rank? Can you inspire? Persuade managements to act? Keep investors close? Get multiple audiences to do what you want them to do? Perform on your feet while under pressure?
In this series of articles, I’m happy to share the same coaching advice I’ve given to more than half the Fortune 500 CEOs, political candidates, executives, public figures, and global business leaders over the past 40 years.
As you will see, the key to Leadership Communications success is all based on just three simple propositions:
- Three minutes with the right audience can be worth more than a year at your desk.
- Talent and brainpower alone can’t guarantee success.
- Conversations are far more effective than presentations.
If you want to get started on the road to excellence, let the journey to effective Leadership Communications begin!