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Beyond Expertise: Why Communication is Vital for Leadership Excellence

November 03, 20232 min read

Leadership and management are not synonymous. While overlapping, key differences exist between the two skill sets. And communication sits at the heart of this divergence.

Exceptional managers are often promoted to leadership positions purely based on job performance and expertise. But leading teams requires a very different toolkit centered on influence, motivation, and collaboration, with communication acting as the engine.

Technical expertise alone will not guarantee leadership success. In fact, research shows a whopping 70% of management failures stem from poor communication ability, according to the IBM Manager Institute.

The lesson is clear: leaders must evolve communication capabilities to maximize impact. Here's why.

Communication Connects Vision with Action

From messaging strategy to daily interactions, communications constitute the bridge between leadership vision and execution. As billionaire investor Warren Buffet put it:

"Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business.”

Day-to-day, leaders connect priorities to real work via communication. Memos, meetings, presentations, and informal chats directly influence results.

On a bigger scale, leaders must communicate a compelling vision. Why does our work matter? How do we create value? Inspiring and resonating communication around the mission rallies teams to apply discretionary effort.

Leaders who fail to communicate vision and strategy in relatable ways miss opportunities to engage. Work becomes merely transactional rather than transformational.

Communication Builds Trust 

Transparent, compassionate communications foster the trust so vital between leaders and team members. Consider that:

  • High-trust organizations see 50% higher productivity, according to Paul Zak. With trust, employees willingly go above and beyond.

  • Teams with trust handle change 20% better than low-trust groups, per Innovation Ecosystems.  Trust builds resilience.

Without trust, employees resist new directions and withhold ideas and effort. But honest, empathetic leaders earn trust through open communications and then unlock potential.

Communication Develops People

Coaching team members depends entirely on a quality feedback exchange. Honesty in listening, questioning, and delivery techniques accelerates development.

Likewise, leaders need feedback to grow. 360 reviews, stay interviews, and anonymized polling provide insight to enhance effectiveness, but only if leaders have the psychological safety to openly discuss results and meaningfully respond.

Two-way developmental communication elevates performance, sparking potential and excellence at all levels.

The Bottom Line

While domain expertise is essential, leaders must evolve communication skills to maximize impact. Conveying vision, building trust, and coaching others through dialogue separates effective leaders from mere tacticians.

Let's connect if your leaders need communication-focused development. ID360 equips leaders to find their true leadership voice. With the right messaging, you can inspire teams and get breakthrough results.

Let's Talk! Want to elevate your team's performance through leadership communication? Reach out to ID360! We help leaders evolve the skills to inspire and develop their organizations. Schedule a call to discuss how we can implement a customized approach for your teams!

Kim Zoller

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