Leadership is communication

  • Communicate a vision. Communicate needs. Communicate challenges. Communicate principles. Communicate expectations.
  • The more important the information, the more it must be repeated. Say it different ways, in different contexts, and in different mediums.
  • It’s usually better to communicate the key point inelegantly than to delay the message until you can polish it. But know when that’s not the case. (See: Done is better than perfect.)
  • Communicate what you’re going to do before you do it–with your boss so they are in the loop and can sign off, and with your team, so they can provide feedback.

The role of leaders is to cast a vision of the future.

For example:

  • “Our product should be so user-friendly that customers are amazed how fast it loads.”
  • Imagine how much our customers would love our product if it was so intuitive that we didn’t have to provide training.”
  • Imagine such an energizing and supportive office environment that people wanted to RTO voluntarily when possible?”

The leader’s role is to set objectives and create clarity by setting priorities.

“We need to find a way to keep two days per week free of meetings.” (And don’t forget to sell it: “Imagine how much more productive our developers would be if they didn’t lose so much time to context switching.”)

However, the leader’s role is not to identify how to accomplish those objectives. That’s for the team members to solve. The leader’s role to set clear objectives, with the input of the team, and then get out of the way so the team can determine the how.

Sometimes it is the leader’s role to make difficult decisions. “Let’s slow down on developing new features until we can make our existing features faster.” And to support them. “I’ll go to the stakeholders and explain why we need to delay that project to focus on quality.” But the leader should not be making most decisions for the team. In general, if the leader has to make decisions, they become the bottleneck. The team can only be as good as the leader. The team is limited by the leader’s expertise, and in today’s world, there is too much for any one person to know. This is why the leader is better off pushing authority down and delegating decisions to the people with more expertise.

Copyright © 2023 Richard Morgan.