A weekly roundup of the most interesting, useful and thought-provoking articles to help you be a better leader.
A case study in leadership communication: X CEO Linda Yaccarino’s interview at the Code Conference in September has been deemed “flubbed” and “testy” by The Verge and New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, respectively.
Our take: Yaccarino had the unenviable task of appearing live at Vox Media’s Code Conference an hour after surprise guest Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety.
Roth has been outspoken in his criticism of the direction Elon Musk has taken the site and was targeted by Musk on Twitter, leading to public harassment and death threats.
Yaccarino responded with a combative tone, looked flustered, flubbed some basic X numbers, and failed to communicate a clear message about X’s objectives or its future direction. Although appearing confident, her strategy seemed more defensive than proactive.
Key takeaway: When a company is struggling or in flux, strong messaging from leadership is essential. Even the appearance of confidence is not enough if leaders don’t convey a clear message.
Injecting humanity into communication: This article gives tips for leaders on how highly successful CEOs master good communication.
Our take: They’re often called soft skills but learning to communicate effectively can be hard. Workplace coach and author Bonnie Low-Kramen says these three Vs are the key: visibility, vulnerability, and verbal.
Showing up for your team means being visible around the office, whether physically or on camera for virtual meetings. Vulnerability can simply mean being honest and sharing small things about yourself that can reveal common interests and experiences. And being verbal is a reminder to get out of your leadership bubble and make time for quick conversations and catch ups.
Key takeaway: Communication skills are less about a checklist of things to do or not do and more about injecting humanity into the way you interact with and show up for your team.
The art of communication. The Harvard Business Review digs into how great leaders communicate, beyond simple strategies.
Our take: One thing that many transformational leaders have in common is exceptional communication. This skill goes deeper than individual interactions: communication is an art form about persuading people to follow your vision.
Learning the art means practicing all its forms – speaking, writing, and presenting. For example, Jeff Bezos wanted to focus on writing skills for his Amazon team, so he banned his leadership from using PowerPoint. They instead had to use “narratively structured memos” to convey their messages.
Key takeaway: Studying and practicing the art of speaking, writing, and presenting is one of the most valuable ways to improve your influence as a leader.
🎧 For Leaders: Ness Digital Engineering CEO Ranjit Tinaikar
Ranjit Tinaikar, CEO of Ness Digital Engineering, leads with an emphasis on personal responsibility, self-awareness, and self-regulation.
His leadership philosophy at Ness Digital Engineering prioritizes talent management and adapting work culture to accommodate the diverse needs of a global workforce.
In this episode, Tinaikar shares key insights on:
Prioritizing long-term value creation over short-term gains
Navigating social and political issues while managing stakeholder interests
AI and its role in shaping the tech industry's future
Every week, we share an interesting long-form piece of content to contemplate.
Every leader has their own tone and approach for communicating with their staff. In Staff Matters, Low-Kramen asks more than 1,500 executives, HR professionals, recruiters, executive assistants, and leadership experts about their unique perspectives on the employee-leader relationship.
Yet what’s most helpful is her many case studies from the voices of employees themselves. Hearing these unfiltered stories is a game changer for leaders interested in knowing how their staff are doing and what issues they find most difficult.
In trying to build a bridge between leaders and staff, Low-Kramen gets to the heart of how to use communication to build better teams and workplaces.