Take a second and close your eyes. Imagine the best unit, team, company, or friendship you've ever participated in. How did you feel about this team?
I've started thinking about this a lot recently. I'm not really sure why, but it just popped above the waterline. I've been thinking about the people on those teams and what made them great; the mission we had and how we all focused on accomplishing it; and the leadership of that team. I expect that some of my friends may get a bit excited about me not singling out the team we were on together. For that, I'm sorry. I've been on a lot of great teams. This was just a once in a life time occurrence. Like Halley's Comet, the alignment of the planets, or finding King Tut's tomb.
My best team was the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry, Manchus from June 2000 to 2002. For us, the planets did align, we had a Brigade Commander like no other: fair, sense of humor, deep desire to develop commanders and staff, and a passion for soldiers and soldiering. We also had a Battalion Commander who was focused on the mission and developing us as Commanders and Soldiers. Most importantly he had was the ability to communicate to all levels of the command. He is a person who was as comfortable briefing our Commanding General as he was talking to a Soldier in the motor pool under a Bradley. Lieutenant Colonel (now Colonel and retired) Jones had an amazing ability to connect with people. Many of us emulated his ability to focus the unit through very precise language and specific instructions when necessary. Because he communicated so effectively we were able to understand what we needed to do and where the unit was heading.
I can think of dozens of effective communicators, Presidents Lincoln, Reagan, Clinton, Obama; General David Petraeus. These are just a few from the national stage. Think about your community or company. Do you have team members who can effectively communicate? What do these people have in common? Are they selective in when they contribute and what they contribute?
I'd like to open the conversation on communication there….How do we improve communication? What are the key elements of communication? Is there such a thing as too much communication?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts…grab a pint and let's talk.
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