Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog

Everybody is Listening – Be Careful!

If you are managing an organization, be it small or large, you need to realize that what you say is listened to more carefully than you think. Hence, you better be objective. Also, any communication is an opportunity to create enthusiasm for your vision and the plans for achieving it.

Let’s look at an example. Sony has been in a tailspin for the past decade. First it was the iPod wiping out the Walkman. Then it was Samsung, LG and many others dethroning the market leading Sony Trinitron TV’s causing Sony’s TV business to crater and lose $8 billion over the past eight years. Then the once dominant Sony PlayStation was driven to the #3 position behind Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox. In 2011, ten Sony plants were temporarily closed due to the Japanese tsunami and embarrassment was caused by the recent incident of hackers bringing down the PlayStation Network.

Finishing up 2011 with a $3 billion loss and the share price sitting at a twenty four year low, the CEO recently wrapped up a Business Week interview by saying: ”I completely believe in the vision and I think we are getting there.” If you are an employee at Sony, it sounds like it is business as usual and we need to just keep doing what we are doing! No need to panic. All is right on course! What a missed opportunity for that CEO! Even worse, he appears to be out of touch with reality.

If you are leading people, every time you speak, you need to be totally objective. You should be optimistic about your vision for the future, but provide it in the context of a realistic assessment of the current situation.

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