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The five messages leaders must manage.
Harv Bus Rev. 2006 May; 84(5):114-23, 158.HB

Abstract

If you want to know why so many organizations sink into chaos, look no further than their leaders' mouths. Over and over, leaders present grand, overarching-yet fuzzy-notions of where they think the company is going. They assume everyone shares their definitions of"vision;" "accountability," and "results". The result is often sloppy behavior and misalignment that can cost a company dearly. Effective communication is a leader's most critical tool for doing the essential job of leadership: inspiring the organization to take responsibility for creating a better future. Five topics wield extraordinary influence within a company: organizational structure and hierarchy, financial results, the leader's sense of his or her job, time management, and corporate culture. Properly defined, disseminated, and controlled, these topics give the leader opportunities for increased accountability and substantially better performance. For example, one CEO always keeps communications about hierarchy admirably brief and to the point. When he realized he needed to realign internal resources, he told the staff: "I'm changing the structure of resources so that we can execute more effectively." After unveiling a new organization chart, he said, "It's 10:45. You have until noon to be annoyed, should that be your reaction. At noon, pizza will be served. At one o'clock, we go to work in our new positions." The most effective leaders ask themselves, "What needs to happen today to get where we want to go? What vague belief or notion can I clarify or debunk?" A CEO who communicates precisely to ten direct reports, each of whom communicates with equal precision to 40 other employees, aligns the organization's commitment and energy with a well-understood vision of the firm's real goals and opportunities.

Authors+Show Affiliations

VSP Capital, San Francisco, USA. johnhamm@mac.com

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16649703

Citation

Hamm, John. "The Five Messages Leaders Must Manage." Harvard Business Review, vol. 84, no. 5, 2006, pp. 114-23, 158.
Hamm J. The five messages leaders must manage. Harv Bus Rev. 2006;84(5):114-23, 158.
Hamm, J. (2006). The five messages leaders must manage. Harvard Business Review, 84(5), 114-23, 158.
Hamm J. The Five Messages Leaders Must Manage. Harv Bus Rev. 2006;84(5):114-23, 158. PubMed PMID: 16649703.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The five messages leaders must manage. A1 - Hamm,John, PY - 2006/5/3/pubmed PY - 2006/6/2/medline PY - 2006/5/3/entrez SP - 114-23, 158 JF - Harvard business review JO - Harv Bus Rev VL - 84 IS - 5 N2 - If you want to know why so many organizations sink into chaos, look no further than their leaders' mouths. Over and over, leaders present grand, overarching-yet fuzzy-notions of where they think the company is going. They assume everyone shares their definitions of"vision;" "accountability," and "results". The result is often sloppy behavior and misalignment that can cost a company dearly. Effective communication is a leader's most critical tool for doing the essential job of leadership: inspiring the organization to take responsibility for creating a better future. Five topics wield extraordinary influence within a company: organizational structure and hierarchy, financial results, the leader's sense of his or her job, time management, and corporate culture. Properly defined, disseminated, and controlled, these topics give the leader opportunities for increased accountability and substantially better performance. For example, one CEO always keeps communications about hierarchy admirably brief and to the point. When he realized he needed to realign internal resources, he told the staff: "I'm changing the structure of resources so that we can execute more effectively." After unveiling a new organization chart, he said, "It's 10:45. You have until noon to be annoyed, should that be your reaction. At noon, pizza will be served. At one o'clock, we go to work in our new positions." The most effective leaders ask themselves, "What needs to happen today to get where we want to go? What vague belief or notion can I clarify or debunk?" A CEO who communicates precisely to ten direct reports, each of whom communicates with equal precision to 40 other employees, aligns the organization's commitment and energy with a well-understood vision of the firm's real goals and opportunities. SN - 0017-8012 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16649703/The_five_messages_leaders_must_manage_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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