For the entrepreneur, the art of communication is a key to inform, inspire and engage investors, employees and customers. Communication is where change begins. Culture is where movements are born.
When you focus solely on the how-to of communication ("7 Social Media Essentials!") and neglect the foundation, you miss an opportunity to create a culture of communication.
1. Be strategic to communicate purpose. Stephen Covey declared: "Begin with the end in mind." You've got the long view and the big picture. Be certain everyone else knows how you plan on getting there. Vision aligns your purpose and mission. Culture aligns your vision and values.
Remember, the clarity of your purpose is realized by the directness of your strategy. Strategy and focus tell your team and customers that you know where you're headed and how you will get there. People want to belong to a cause, join a movement and work toward a vision that has clearly defined purpose and actionable strategy.
Related: Time for a Company Culture Audit
2. Be inspirational to communicate character. Make your core values clear in what you say and how you say it. Make your purpose evident in your marketing, company communications, investor relations and social media. Every aspect of communication must be designed to nurture confidence and inspire trust.
Character is defined when your team, customers and stakeholders experience your values in action. The trust in your organization's character is enhanced through inspirational and motivational communications. Inspiration is shared through visual and verbal language. Design and stories work together to create a powerful and compelling narrative. Words and phrases convey the purpose and values of your organization, and engage your team and your stakeholders.
3. Be relational to communicate culture. Experience will prove that trust in your leadership is based on the authenticity of the relationships you have with your team. When you communicate with the goal of building relationships, you discover that culture is character in action. It's also called walking the talk.
The strength of your organization's culture will be measured in how relationships are valued. Meaningful relationships are nurtured by gratefulness and trust, authenticity and transparency.
4. Being aspirational communicate vision. One of your roles is chief vision officer. Steve Jobs is legendary as an example of visionary thinking and execution. Your voice and example of your leadership matters. The quality of your leadership is magnified by the clarity of your communications.
Your team wants to follow a positive, powerful and courageous leader. Your confident and authentic leadership will be the inspiration for your team, investors and customers.
Embracing the art of communication empowers you to fulfill your purpose. Your team is yearning to belong to an organizational culture that embodies these four dimensions, for a leader to follow, and a cause to believe in. Be the one who starts the movement.
Related: Lines of Communication