Where Has All The Leadership/Communication Gone?

Gordon Jackson once wrote, “Unless the top management team has vision, method, and courage, any attempt at an effective organisational change is too hard.”

The term “team” infers a cooperative unit, comprising of a group of people coupled in the goal of attaining a common purpose. The leader of a team (which it is important to remember may not be its designated leader) needs the charism of communication in order to attain that goal of a group common purpose. Unless the leader can clearly communicate what the group as an organism is trying to achieve, then there is no guarantee that the goal is common to the group. The leadership skill, par excellence, is communication.

The Book of Proverbs says something along the lines of: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Vision implies an idealised reality, like, “We want to be number one in car sales this year”. A vision is image of something that is not necessarily perceived as real and concrete and is not necessarily present to the senses, as such. Again, it is necessary for the leader of the group to lead the team in the management of a process of a group – as opposed to individualistic – vision. What is required to achieve this group vision? Communication. Tools are compliant (most of the time). Leaders enable vision and help communicate it both internally and externally.

Method infers a way of doing something, usually a systematic way, and implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps); however, it is important to understand that in a process those steps can sometimes be missed. A group can “leap-frog” some of the steps and arrive at the result synergistically. Other-times, group method and objectives are cascading, and ultimately a group can arrive at a method and process that is way beyond what its original objective was. What is required in the management of method and process? Communication.

Courage is closely linked to inspiration, and like leadership, seems to me more a quality of spirit. I do not think it can be learnt in business school. I think it more stems from the quality of one’s life and the ability to transcend the physical and the worship of the mundane; to rise above the ordinary and reach for the stars. What is the quality that is required to convey courage? Communication and leadership.

When leaders and teams have the leadership qualities of vision, method, and courage, however, facilitated by communication, anything is possible. It wasn’t John F. Kennedy’s words that put man on the moon. It was vision and communication, coupled with method and a great deal of courage.

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