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Leaders and Communications

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Jumping into the fray, Jack and Suzy Welch opined on a President Obama Leadership Report Card in BusinessWeek. While not agreeing with all of the policies, so far the former GE CEO gives him an A for leadership.

The comments the Welch’s make about Obama and communications can apply to almost any CEO. “You can’t communicate too much, especially when you’re galvanizing change.”

In the midst of this economic turmoil and change, I believe CEO’s need to keep communicating with employees, stakeholders, retirees, customers. There is a tendency to hunker down and come out only occasionally. Why keep sending out bad news, is one argument? That’s not the point. Yes, there is bad news, but it’s how you say it that makes a difference.

An effective CEO and his/her communications team can do a good job even with bad or “eh” news. There is bound to be some positive information to transmit; and you can figure out ways to demonstrate how the enterprise is working harder, more efficiently and maximizing opportunities.

Think about the ways you can communicate: speeches, walking the halls, town halls, media interviews, online chat rooms, old fashioned letters to the house. Who do you think is doing well?

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