Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

3 Things Leaders Must Realize for Business Success in 2018

When considering the most admirable business leaders, we often choose innovators with an innate ability to look to the future and position their organization a step ahead of competition, while also anticipating the two guys in the garage keen on disrupting the entire industry. These leaders often craft a compelling narrative that communicates their internal vision so charismatically that it disseminates outward, affecting even the external facing stakeholders—customers.

The problem with many organizations that have grown to the enterprise level is they’ve grown almost too large. Growth, especially through multiple acquisitions, brings together differing cultures, initiatives, and priorities, which inadvertently creates a breakdown in communication. Akin to an autoimmune disease, this one problem can take an entire organization down. For every business, a breakdown in communication can be traced back as the primary site of demise.

Communication failures come in all shapes and sizes–from a failure of the executive team to effectively communicate throughout every level of the organization, to middle management being the bottleneck of innovation, to a lack of motivation, inspiration, and engagement by individual team members within the organization. Middle management alignment is critical to business success as much as every chair of the c-suite and the individual sales, marketing, customer service, and product development team members. How many times have you encountered an organization outsourcing a project that another internal department handles? These problems, plus multitudes more, are always due to a breakdown in communication.

The most successful leadership embodies memorable, connected, compelling communication. Effective communication is the ability to craft your messaging with clarity, to enable your organization to understand, align, and execute quickly. . Effective communication is the ability to engage your employees, thereby increasing business productivity. Effective communication is the ability to not only reach your target audience, but create a connection that moves beyond brand awareness to brand loyalty.

As you launch into the new year, now is the time to rethink how your organization measures up on effective communication. As a leader, the first step to revamping, reinvigorating, and reimagining the business, is to look at the three things every successful leader employs in communicating for business success.

3 Things Every Leader Must Realize for Business Success:

  1. Listening is a skill. In a crowded marketplace filled with noise, the ability to listen clearly is a valuable skill. We must listen to our employees, customers, board of directors, leaders, mentors, and guides. Now, with new technology, we can leverage insights gleaned by machines with the computing capacity to harness the power of listening like never before.
  2. Engaging an audience, a target market, and a workforce is probably the best super power when it comes to getting ahead of the pack in our distracted world. How are you capturing the attention of your target market? How are you connecting with, inspiring, and moving your workforce? What tools are you utilizing to streamline your effort at communicating effectively with your internal and external stakeholders?
  3. Reinvention is another word for innovation, or another way of putting it is, disrupt or be disrupted. What sacred cows does your organization cling to unquestioningly that hold back progress? How are you planning to remain relevant in 2018? When was your last competitive analysis, and if it is recent, do you have actionable insights? How are you planning to execute on those insights?

Communication seems so basic and facile, yet it’s the one thing that plagues us professionally and personally. Becoming a more effective communicator makes for a better leader. An organization that communicates seamlessly both internally and externally will reap the rewards of staying not only current, but also maintain the freshness that is mandated to keep up with the speed of innovation today. In our overcrowded marketplace, may you be the signal in the noise that keeps your organization’s ship on-course.

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