Have you ever thought about what are the key behaviours that can be used as indicators whether a person will be truly successful and will be a good business leader?
I will controversially state that there are those behaviours that we witness every day in dealing with our colleagues — and will help distinguish who are the real winners and losers. You are welcome of course to challenge this — but this represents my insights to date.
We all can acknowledge that communication is important — and there are variety of books and courses that propose to teach effective communication techniques. There has arisen a multiplicity of channels and media of communication, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and good old email, and so the challenges of effective communication have increased.
However, my experience in multiple cultures (US, Japan, Singapore, Australia) shows that the one key and consistent barometer of success of an individual is the simple differentiator of whether one responds in a timely way to a communication. This isn’t proposing unrealistic expectations of response within a minutes or even half day.
This instead is the common courtesy behaviour of effective executives who either reply with a “Sorry can’t address this now –but will come back to you within a couple of days”, or “Sorry that is not my expertise; unfortunately can’t help you”, or an alternative suggestion. This can occur later that day or the next day — or when the person returns (with appropriate “out of office” advice).
Unfortunately it appears that often even young management consultants or other professionals aren’t trained in the importance of this, and they unfortunately often model the poor behaviour of their senior colleagues or managers.
Effective leaders who can’t handle such communications directly themselves will prioritise and set up effective delegation or systems to handle such communications in a timely way, e.g. via Executive Assistants, other team members, etc. Even the busiest — and talented — CFO and CEOs who I know are vigilant in effectively handling all communications to them.
It is all too common unfortunately that certain managers or leaders don’t respond in a timely way to communication because:
- they are “in over their head” or overwhelmed,
- they are threatened and mask their insecurities or shortcomings by “being too busy”,
- they are intentionally or unintentionally arrogant and use this as a “power play”, and/or
- they lack the time management skills or self-discipline to implement this.
Unfortunately without this timely communication, trust is impeded and real collaboration is delayed or compromised.
So when you send that communication to a colleague and don’t get a reply, think about whether that individual will be truly successful and a good leader.
And – of course — in return check that you have put in place the effective behaviours and systems for your timely communication to others. If you do so, then you are on the path to being truly successful and a successful business leader — and we look forward to working with you!