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February 2012
Published by Geoff Kelly, Kelly Strategic Influence

Wisdom to lead minds:

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, thatís creative."

Charles Mingus


Is your communication a lethal weapon?

So many important relationships to kill, so little time. But don't worry; every hour of every day business leaders, communication directors and service professionals everywhere are consistently ruining many prospect, client and key stakeholder relationships.

Their weapon of choice? Communication. Or more correctly, self-serving nonsense masquerading as communication.

Like me, you probably get dozens of emails, phone calls, snail mail letters, and even face-to-face meetings with sellers and idea peddlers who seem to have only one goal--waste as much of your time as possible.

They email and call wanting to know if I'm doing OK, or if I need anything, or to tell me all about their new policy or anything else they have done or will do, or if they can show me a new product or service without having the slightest idea if I could actually use it.

In a nutshell, itís almost always all about them. And like audiences everywhere Iím over it. If youíre not smart enough and polite enough to say something of value to me, then keep the hell away from my attention span. It is maxed out as it is. And frankly, you wonít get it past the front gate of my consciousness.

When I visit a web site looking for something specific I first wade neck deep through "all about us," "our products and services," and what they had for breakfast last year.

And I attend too many executive speeches or conference sessions that mostly harp on what they did, how successful their product or service was, or some other largely self-serving theme. Often it feels like Groundhog Day on steroids just sitting listening to this childish nonsense, one presenter after the next. And I know others feel the same by their body language and active multi-tasking on their iPhones.

Sad for me, because it wastes my time. Sad for them because they fail to impress or convince, losing their opportunity and eroding their reputation.

These emperors wearing no cloths who think they are fascinating and successful are really boring and annoying their audiences, and teaching them to completely ignore them in future.

Leadership and relationships are earned. Not by peddling information of little value or bragging. Leadership and relationships emerge from consistent exchanges of trust and value - value to the receiver.

Most leaders in business and the professions work hard to find and connect with quality prospects and stakeholders then to win them as clients or supporters. Why in the world would they want to then commit genocide on the relationships they most want to build?

Their killer communication strategy is unintentionally killing off massive numbers of their prospects, clients and supporters by teaching them to ignore all of their future communication. They have told their most important potential relationships that they just aren't important enough to invest the time and energy necessary to add value for them.

That's the best strategy in the known universe for the mass extinction of potentially valuable relationships. And the cost is killing these leaders too.

Just consider for a moment the cost of losing one potential key client for an architect, lawyer or management consultant. Now multiply that by 10. Or by 100. Thatís huge for them, and simply reshapes their business future.

What about the corporate leader who loses the respect of his or her workforce? Or key suppliers, regulatory agencies, or customers? Or that local community where they hope to put an important new operation?

One in three chief executives get fired for poor performance. Mostly they failed to build and maintain the trust and support of key stakeholders.

The cost in failed careers and failed organisations is beyond count. Even more so for those who survive but greatly underperform their potential.

Yet the majority remain complacent and doubtless will continue so. The good news is that the great game goes to those who rise above the mediocre majority to build and keep relationships of outstanding value. Thatís the key to greatness, and to great rewards...

Want to take the higher road? This will get you started: In your speaking from the podium to the water cooler, in your writing from your emails to articles and whitepapers, there is one simple question you can ask yourself. In fact every phone call and meeting with important others is a moment of truth where this question can help align your thinking and communication.

Simply ask yourself: "How am I adding value to them here, or is it just me Iím thinking about?" This question is deceptively simple, but has profound potential for your relationships and your wealth.

If your answer is that you're only adding value for yourself, don't make the call, don't send the email, and donít plan the presentation until you have taken the time to make sure you're adding more value to them than you are for yourself.

More next month...


Geoff Kelly works with leaders who are frustrated that others don't fully support their ideas and strategies. He mainly works with corporate leaders around the world, but also leaders in Government and Not for Profit. He is also a popular speaker on this and related subjects. See www.kellystrategicinfluence.com.au, email [email protected] or call +613 9678 9218 for more information


© 2009 - 2012 Geoff Kelly All rights reserved.
You are free to use material from the Leading Minds eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear. The attribution should read: "By Geoff Kelly of Kelly Strategic Influence. Please visit Geoff's web site at www.kellystrategicinfluence.com.au for additional articles and resources on earning support for your ideas and strategies." (Make sure the link is live if placed in an eZine or in a web site.)



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