In May 2017, Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO Pure Performance Communications, interviewed Helio Fred Garcia, President of Logos Consulting Group, live from the NASDAQ studio in Times Square, New York to talk about leadership, communication and reputation.
In the conversation on the role of communication in business, Garcia carefully explained how communication should be a rigorous business function:
In business and other forms of enterprise, governments, NGOs, etc., those who run institutions are rigorous about everything they do. But when it comes time to explain what they’re doing, they tend to abandon that rigor and they tend to improvise.
They would never dream of improvising on a budget. They would never dream of improvising in a legal brief. They would never dream of improvising on a supply chain management challenge. But they improvise in communication.
So the first principle has to be that communication is an essential element of business and we need the same rigor in that communication as in every other form of business.
Breakenridge asked Garcia to expand on what he believes are characteristics of good leaders, and where good communication falls into the leadership discipline. Garcia responded by sharing what he believes to be the best definition of leadership he’s encountered, articulated by late general and president of the United States Dwight Eisenhower: “leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”
According to Garcia, “Leadership is a process of inspiring people, of rallying people, of getting people to be loyal, of getting people to trust, of getting people to want to be in relationship. There are other elements of leadership like focus and decision-making ability and many other things, but the necessary element of effective leadership is effective communication.”
On the topic of reputation, Garcia explained that most harm to brand and reputation is self-inflicted harm. He went further to explain that trust is a consequence of expectations being fulfilled, and when clients ask him to advise on what they should do, he asks them to consider, “What would reasonable people appropriately expect a responsible organization or leader to do?”
Garcia said the key discipline of leadership is mental readiness, which he defines as:
1) Emotional discipline
2) Deep knowledge
3) Intellectual rigor
You can watch the full interview here:
Garcia is the author of “The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively,” which was translated into Chinese. He is also the co-author of “Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication,” which was translated into Korean and will soon be translated into Chinese.
Garcia’s next book, “The Agony of Decision: Mental Readiness and Leadership in a Crisis” is slated to be published in August 2017.