Information, as reported in a recent book by Morten Hansen (The Great Work), indicates that great leaders are also great at communication and the thing that makes them good communicators is their ability to simplify information. This is not the only factor, but it came out as one of the most important. This ability to simplify also plays into what they do as well as what they communicate.
When leaders learn how to do less, but do it better, they begin to excel. They become experts in their field. In much the same way as happens in many professions such as medicine or the law. Those who become proficient in just one area of that profession, are in greater demand and climb the success ladder faster. Of course they usually also get paid better too. Nothing wrong in that. Hansen identified this as “Do less, then obsess.”
The great lesson that can be drawn from this for leaders is in hiring people who can excel at the things that the leader won’t be doing. Set a few priorities for each person and give them the incentive to stay focused on those without other distractions most of the time. People who follow this pattern are much more likely to become experts and seen as outstanding among their peers.
Hansen said, “Greatness in work, art, and science requires obsession over quality and an extraordinary attention to detail.” So it’s more than just picking those priorities. It is also about focusing on them, working constantly on becoming better in those areas. It may take a couple of years to get to the point of real success at this, but once there, people can continue to grow and become the best of the best.
Meetings and such are necessary, but you want to keep them minimal and on point. Let people say what they need to say and hear what they need to hear, then send them back to do what they do and know better than anyone else.
When you train, when you meet, do your best in advance to distill it all done to one thing that needs to be covered. How do you get out all of your message in the shortest, most concise statement? Teach your people to think that way too. Everyone will appreciate it.
Minimizing the complexity of what you need to say to the necessary points and in understandable language means your people can then grasp the concepts, and immediately begin to discuss any salient points as they apply to what each person is doing. That makes necessary meetings more productive, hopefully reducing the number of follow-up meetings.
Tip: Look at your agenda for a meeting, how much can you cut out and still accomplish what needs to get done? Try to get it to one-quarter of the original and see how that improves the meeting.
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