For years I’ve asked people, “What’s the good word today?” My intention always was to get people thinking about something positive and if they were thinking something positive to share it with me so I could benefit too!
Unfortunately far too often people can’t come up with a good word – or in many cases a word at all.
As I said, I’ve asked this question for years, until it has almost become a conditioned response or a habit. Because of that, I haven’t thought much about it for a long time.
Until recently, when I started thinking about how the U.S. President’s team tries to manage communications with daily briefs and messaging. It is no accident that the information shared by multiple media outlets is largely the same when it comes to creating the national conversation – at least some of that comes from the White House and is done deliberately. (This reflection is likely because of my preparation for the Leadership Lessons from Presidential Politics teleseminars I did recently).
I don’t want you (or me) to get mired in the details of White House messaging, or start “yes, butting” because our work isn’t the same as the President’s and we don’t have a huge communications team, yada yada yada. Rather than focusing on the differences, let’s explore the principle we can apply. . .
As leaders, we need to consciously create the conversation in our organization. Ask yourself this question:
Are people talking about and thinking about the most important things, the things that will help us reach our objectives?
If not, why not? As a leader it is your opportunity to create the conversation that will best move your organization forward. Here’s an even more pressing question.
Do you know what you want people to be talking and thinking about?
If you can’t answer this question, the first one is impossible to answer.
Whether you are thinking about supervisor leadership, corporate leadership, or executive leadership; whether you are leading 2 or 2,222, your answers to these questions are critical.
If you want to engage in an effective leadership activity today, do this exercise.
1. Determine the most pressing and important issue, challenge or goal you and your organization is facing.
2. Make that your “word (or message) of the day” (hopefully it is a good one).
3. Find ways to communicate and share that message multiple times a day.
This is not just a great leadership communication tool – it is strategic leadership at its finest!
Taking those three steps will help you create the conversation – and focus – that you want in your organization. It will also ensure that you always have a good word to share – and those words will be strategic and help you move the organization forward toward your goals.