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Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke is Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at Ernst & Young and is a member of the firm’s Global Management Group and a member of its Americas Executive Board.

Relentless Communication

To make a tough re-evaluation of any decision, leaders need to invite diverse perspectives to the decision-making table. Leaders need to hear from people who see the same set of facts through a dissimilar lens and thus bring invaluable perspectives to the discussion. A disconnected leader who evaluates decisions surrounded by those apt to think like him or her, act like him or her, and look like him or her is following the best recipe for making the wrong decisions.

Once the decision has been made to execute an about face, any leader needs to communicate, communicate, communicate. Then they should assume people haven't yet heard the rationale and communicate again. In a vacuum of silence, others will make up the rationale for a course correction or an about face, and the odds of that rationale being the actual rationale aren't high. But leaders can't expect others to read their minds. In the instantaneous sound-bite world in which we live, the public's attention to context and rationale is limited. If you ask any great leader how they spend the majority of their time, it is in communication.

I would give President Obama high marks on both evaluating decisions and executing them, and course correcting when necessary.

By Beth A. Brooke

 |  September 22, 2009; 6:28 AM ET
Category:  Wartime Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I think you are so right about the need to communicate, communicate, and communicate. This is one reason that I have found female executives to have such a significant role. They are more natural communicators. The hurdle I have found is do they have the Mindset to speak up and to understand their choices and their power.

In my experience, working with lots of executives around the world, one of the hindering factors to communication is a person's own sustainable high performance habits. If they are exhausted, hypoglycemic, unhealthy, or lack the Mindset skills they will withdrawal to their default. This is an extremely limited and non-collaborative place to be.

It has been amazing to see how executives and leaders change their ability to communicate, collaborate, and innovate when they change their own personal energy and resilience. Our integrated approach of addressing Mindset, Nutrition, Movement and Recovery has been very successful with this. I think building this Tignum foundation is a huge missing step for too many leaders.

I love your insights. Please keep them coming.

Posted by: speltin | October 1, 2009 12:45 PM
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Why is it that organizations that seek input from stakeholders and profess transparency are in fact almost opaque to outside view? The more they explain what they're doing, the less clear it becomes.

Maybe it's the Japanese method, where the idea is to make up your mind what you want to do, then go around and ask everybody's opinion, before doing what you intended to do in the first place.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 22, 2009 11:36 AM
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