ERIC STJERNSTROM-Leadership and Communication

ERIC STJERNSTROM-Leadership and Communication - Running...

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Running head: LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNICATION 1 Leadership and Communication Eric Stjernstrom Northeastern University Developing Your Leadership Capability/LDR 6100 3/12/2010
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Jacqueline M. Shannon Leadership and Communication 2 Introduction to Leadership and Communication “Of all leadership behaviors, the ability to communicate may be the most important. Communications lays the foundation for leading others” (Baldoni, 2003, What is Leadership Communications, p. 5). In other words, strong communication skills and effective leadership go hand in hand. One can be a great communicator, but fail miserably as a leader. However, one cannot be a great leader without being an effective communicator. Effective communication can take many forms. These can be written, spoken, and behavioral. Although it is not necessary to be strong in each of these areas, it is imperative to have a good grasp on each of them. It is the leader who is able to adapt their message according to their current surroundings (i.e. stakeholders, climate, etc.) that will be the most successful. It is also critical that today’s leaders, in both formal and informal roles, ask the questions of “Who, What, When, Why, and How” as it applies to communicating to others. “Who is this message directed to?” “What message needs to be conveyed to achieve the intended goal(s)?” “When is the appropriate time to convey the stated message?” “Why is it important this message be conveyed?” “How will the stated message be received?” Lastly, it is imperative that today’s leader not only strive for effectiveness in her/his communications, but more importantly, authenticity. “Authentic leaders are transparent, honest, and sincere” (Wagner, 2009, p. 34). As an example, political leaders know exactly what message needs to be conveyed and to whom it is intended. It is remarkably effective. Unfortunately, in many cases, it is not authentic. In the end, those leaders will most likely be
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remembered for being only a proverbial “clanging gong or crashing cymbal;” not for their ability to affect change or inspire others to action. Leadership and Communication 3 Leadership and Communication Research “The most important function of a leader is to develop a clear and compelling picture of the future, and to secure commitment to that ideal…Without vision, there is confusion” Here we see how important it is for a leader to hone their communication skills along with other worthy leadership traits. Today’s leader cannot rely on their innate intellectual and strategic skills. “Leadership communications are designed to engage the listener, gain commitment, and ultimately create a bond of trust between leader and follower” (Baldoni, 2003). This means a leader has to work
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ERIC STJERNSTROM-Leadership and Communication - Running...

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