by Major General (Retired) Steven Hashem

Effective leaders need to master the six basic functions of management: leading, planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, and communicating. But what’s the one golden thread tying all of those functions together – and the most important key to great leadership? Clear communication. Leaders need to be able to communicate well. In order to be effective, a leader needs to focus on three elements: mission, people, and teamwork.  Communication impacts all of these areas.

The first element, mission, sounds like a very military word, but a unit mission is no different than accomplishing the tasks required for your business to succeed. I don’t know how many times in my military and business careers that I have heard phrases such as “what we have here is a failure to communicate” or “I have no idea what the boss wants” or “what are we trying to accomplish here”.  Prioritization is key, because the number of tasks that need to be performed far outnumber all the tasks that any of us can get done in a given day. So a leader has to prioritize those tasks. What’s your vision, your objectives, i.e., what are you trying to accomplish? Ensure that the entire team understands them.

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