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Apr14
Brent Filson - Most Business Leaders Are Clueless About Communicating Well!
Editor’s Note: I want to thank Brent Filson for contributing this post as a Guest Blogger on LeaderNotes.  Brent is the author of 23 books including THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

160 years ago, the newly invented electric telegraph carried the first news message. The message zipped 40 miles in a flash over wires from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.

The public was dazzled -- except Henry David Thoreau. He wrote: “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.”

Today, we live in a Golden Age of communication. We have the Internet. We have faxes. We have e-mails. We have streaming video. We have on-line audio. We have RSS feeds. We have logs and blogs.

Yet today Thoreau is as right as rain. When it comes to really getting our messages across, we’re stuck in the Stone Age.

Here’s why. The vast majority of business leaders I’ve encountered are repeatedly making a huge mistake in communication, a mistake that’s screwing up their jobs and careers. They’re stuck giving presentations and speeches. They’re NOT giving Leadership Talks! What’s a Leadership Talk? Look at it this way: There’s a hierarchy of verbal persuasion when it comes to business leadership. The lowest levels are speeches and presentations. They communicate information. The highest, most effective way of communicating is the Leadership Talk. The Leadership Talk does more than simply send information. It has the leader establish a deep, human, emotional connection with the audience. That’s where business leaders communicate for the best results.

After all, you can order people to go from point A to point B. But the best way to get great results is to have people want to go from A to B. Instilling “want to” in others, motivating them ... isn’t that what great leadership is all about?

160 years ago the dots and dashes that chattered down the wires from Baltimore to Washington spelled out that the Whigs had nominated Henry Clay to run for the presidency.

Back then, Thoreau might have said nothing important was communicated; but today if you want to lead for great results, take Thoreau to heart. Communicate what truly IS important. Don’t give presentations and speeches. Give Leadership Talks. Forge those deep, human, emotional connections with your audiences. Get them motivated to take ardent action for great results.

Find out more about Leadership Talk or sign up for a free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: “49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,” at Action Leadership.

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