mardi 14 mai 2013

How are leadership and communication linked?

Discerning and consistently choosing the right direction to go in one’s various roles can be called self leadership. Haggai defines group leadership as "the discipline of deliberately exerting special influence within a group to move it toward goals of beneficial permanence that fulfill the group's real needs." (Haggai, 2009). Leadership can be described as a bipolar function in which there is a direction setter on one side, and a direction follower on the other. Hackman and Jonhson ( 2009) note that leaders must create and aptly use shared symbols like words, stories, rituals, etc; that carry specific meaning.
Ongoing mutual influence between leaders and followers is at the heart of leadership.  If a leader fails to create and consistently use a communication system that clearly explains the expectations and aspirations of the organization at every level, performance will significantly suffer. Baldoni (2003) notes that this failure of communication is actually failure in leadership. How can a team align and synchronize its effort if no clear direction is given to team members? How can a community be healthy and strong if no one creates and shares the common dreams for which the members want to live? It is obvious that for a group to function and be effective, leaders must develop the ability to create clear and unequivocal messages (Torsten, 2007), while they also help their followers to understand and respond to the signals they receive.


Baldoni, J. (2003). Great communication secrets of great leaders. New York: Mc Graw Hill.
Hackman, M. Z., & Johnson, C. E. (2009). Leadership: a communication perspective (5th ed.). Waveland Press, Inc.
Haggai, J. E. (2009). The influential leader: 12 steps to igniting visionary decision making. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest house publishers.
Torsten, M. (2007). What makes a good leader & how might the performance of leaders be measured. Munich: GRIN Publishing GmbH.