Leadership development programs are all the rage these days. Helping people and organizations grow into what they need to be is happening through seminars, training programs, executive coaching, executive education, you name it. All good.

But if I may, I’d like to offer up one shortcut for “leaders” to think about … stay out of the weeds! Leaders shape and then maintain their leadership positions largely through communications. Yes, they review plans and budgets, set strategy and make decisions, but really it’s how they interact with their various constituencies – both internal and external, and up and down the ladder – that defines and predicts their success. The weeds are the detail, the information, and frankly that’s usually someone else’s responsibility. The leader is responsible for context, direction, the bigger picture, which is communicated through messages, not information.

It’s actually imperative for a leader to be able to identify and deliver messages … statements that convey value, benefit, or significance. Of course, there are occasions and audiences that require the communication of more in-depth information, but an effective leader should always be able to wrap that info inside the packaging of a darn good message.

Think about it … communicating a whole lot of detailed information can be done by anyone. Wrapping that information in a package that conveys something meaningful can and should be done by the leader.

Beth Levine