Leaders Take Responsibility For Communicating

It’s possible that a good communicator can be an ineffective executive. It’s very difficult for someone with poor communication skills to be a consistently effective executive.

In his classic book entitled “The Effective Executive,” Peter Drucker asserts the importance of taking responsibility for communicating:

Effective executives make sure that both their action plans and their information needs are understood. Specifically, this means that they share their plans with and ask for comments from all their colleagues – superiors, subordinates, and peers. (p. XVIII)

Drucker goes on to state that while the information flow from subordinate to boss usually gets the most attention, effective executives pay equal attention to the information needs of everyone at all levels in their network of responsibility. Drucker reminds us of something Chester Barnard stated way back in 1938, that organizations are held together by information rather than by ownership or command.

If your idea of communicating is reminding people that you are the boss and they are not, and that they need to do what you’ve told them to do, you are shirking one of your most important responsibilities as a leader. An investment in understanding your constituents and their information needs in an investment in the success of your action plans for the organization.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


About Bret Simmons

Nevada Management Professor

Posted on January 26, 2012, in organizational behavior and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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