A Note from President and CEO Cathy Ackermann…

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A Note from President and CEO Cathy Ackermann…

Most good leaders have studied and internalized the fine points of how to best lead their organizations to greatness and have learned from history’s masters. However, I would opine that the best leaders also add in a more intangible factor that blends charismatic messaging with a believable sincerity that allows their organizations to deeply trust the path they are on. When organizations truly trust their leaders, they can achieve faster growth, enhanced innovation and amazing team spirit.

A critical component of this higher form of leadership is knowing what, how and when to communicate:

  • What are the key messages that your team needs to consistently hear from you in order to maximize their productivity and their potential?
  • How can these messages best be delivered for maximum impact? What form of communication should you choose? (It is different for different types of messages.)
  • What is the correct timing for communicating important messages – be they positive or negative? What groundwork do you need to lay in advance so that these messages will best be understood and accepted?

The leaders that I most admire exhibit the ability to listen, to collaborate, to inspire and to share their enthusiasm for the vision they have of their organizations. They are creative, flexible and high-performing, and they don’t ask others to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves. They understand their true role, and they are intentional about moving their organization forward within a well-defined culture and value system. They create a “trusted space” where people can speak their minds and disagree, if they want to.

I think that all of us who lead businesses, organizations, volunteers or even families should focus on and define in our own minds what “graceful leadership” looks like to us and how we can best portray it to our organizations in meaningful, actionable ways.

1 Comment

  1. Alesa says:

    +1, Cathy. Right on!

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