June 3, 2005
Vol. 2, No. 22

Published Weekly on Fridays
By Leadership University

A Note from the Founder – Mike R. Jay, Master
Business Coach

Leadership and Messages They Send

This particular rendition follows up on an earlier
insight I shared about Leaders and Happeneurship,
which I’ll continue to write on over time. In the
line of work and thinking I do, I’m lucky to have
good mentors and one of those is Dick Jarrett, a
retired Army Colonel, who in my opinion is just
one of the best Americans I know and have the good
fortune to know.

Not only that, Dick has a wealth of leadership
experience that I can draw on for bouncing ideas
around. During a recent conversation in discussing
the appointment of the Joint Chief, a marine
general, I asked Dick about the kinds of messages
we were sending through the U.S. Leadership System
in place. Dick offered these insights, which is
where I’d like to begin my own reasoning.

"I think that leaders need to send clear and
unmistakable messages. Of course, there is a
danger in this, because it tends to create "yes"
men and women. However, there is an old adage that
says that a leader may not always be right, but he
is always the boss.

I believe leaders should carefully consider the
messages they convey, but never shrink from the
responsibility of stating clearly and
unequivocally what it is they want done. Sometimes
action is not to the liking of those getting the
message, but it sets an example to others that
this is the way it is going to be, and you had
best get with the program."

Dick Jarrett, Col. U.S. Army Ret

You can tell Dick is straightforward in his
communication. I’m sure years of leadership
conditioning in very difficult situations have
contributed to that directness. We often don’t see
many of these kinds of leaders for a variety of
reasons. You can read about Dick’s background

I believe leaders are constantly sending messages
to their followers.

The quantity and quality of those messages are
probably the most important aspect of efficient,
effective and sustainable leadership, one aspect
which I myself have not yet mastered.

I believe it takes practice and an understanding
on many levels that what leaders generate in terms
of messages to followers is the most crucial task
of leadership.

As a leader, what messages are you sending?

How do you know?

The second question is perhaps the most relevant.

From the desk of Mike R. Jay, Master Business Coach
Founder, http://www.leadershipuniversity.com

P.S.  Please visit my blog at
http://generati.typepad.com/mrj/ to comment on
this and other articles about leadership.

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