What Gets Talked About Gets Done
A number of years ago, a CEO who was a turnaround specialist said to me, "What gets talked about gets done." That is something I’ve remembered ever since.
In other words, what we as leaders talk about consistently is what people realize must be important. If the boss is that focused on it, everyone figures there is a reason for it and starts thinking and moving in that direction, sometimes even unconsciously.
Recently, I had this confirmed again in a book I am reading called Master Leaders by George Barna. In it one of the leaders was quoted as saying that in his work with Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell Soup Company, Doug had said that "the most important thing he does as a leader is to share the mission and vision of Campbell Soup Company wherever he goes."
One of my former employers/mentors used to say, "I know they've got the message when they're rolling their eyes at me because they've heard it so many times before. Until then it's not enough." He called it over-communicating. It worked.
Leaders need to communicate clear, consistent, compelling messages to their constituents. If they don't stay focused and keep the organization moving toward a clear target, things will get fragmented very, very quickly.
So, what have you been talking about lately to your folks? What verbal drum have you been beating? Is it focused on the thing that is most important to your organization's success? If not, it's time to change your tune.