Tag Archives | communication tips

Creative Communication: Every Leader Needs a TYSK

A TYSK is a short, easy-to-produce communication that’s fun, reinforces strategy, and motivates employees to respond.

When I worked at GE, every one of us knew that if Jack Welch came to visit and happened to stop one of us in the hallway and ask, “What’s your bottom line,” we’d better know the answer. As leaders, we knew that it was our job to be sure that Leadership Communication Toolsevery employee knew the facts about our competition, our strategy and goals, and our progress against those strategies and goals. We communicated these things in a number of ways, but employees told us that one of the most effective, simplest, and engaging communications was our TYSK. Now you might wonder, TYSK, what’s a TYSK? The acronym stands for Things You Should Know. We produced this brief eNewsletter once a week. The writing was concise and fun, and our TYSK consisted of just three parts:

  • 3-5 updates about our progress against key goals, always highlighting and giving credit to the people who were responsible.
  • A contest consisting of one question related to our strategy, a goal, or the competition. The first person who responded with the right answer was the winner. And yes, as corny as it may seem, there was a prize. A small prize, but people loved to go for it. Prizes ranged from a set of golf balls to a shirt or a coffee mug with our logo. The prize wasn’t the issue–competing to get the right answer in first was the point. By asking these questions, we reinforced key strategic messages every week.
  • The answer to the previous week’s question with the name of the winner, which also reinforced key messages about an element of our strategy, a goal, or the competition.

The reason our TYSK was successful in keeping everyone up to date was because it was short, it was fun, it involved people, and it reinforced important elements relating to our success. One of the biggest challenges leaders face these days is gaining employee mind share. In this digital world, people are deluged with thousands of messages every day. In order to gain some of that mindshare, leaders have to be creative. It has nothing to do with how smart people are or how committed they are. Gaining mindshare has to do with our ability as leaders to create compelling, memorable, and easy to digest communications. What creative communications have worked in your organization?

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Are You a Leader Who Cares and Dares to Make a Difference?

Leaders who care and dare to make a difference

Did you know that when it comes to communication, three types of leaders exist?

  1. Leaders who can talk or write about anything to anyone to make things happen. But bottom line? They don’t care about the organization or anyone in it. They care about looking good.
  2. Leaders who care passionately about making a difference but don’t know how to capture attention or inspire people to take action.
  3. Leaders who care passionately and have the communication skills—or are willing to acquire them—to establish credibility and command attention to make things happen.

If you’re reading this blog, my guess is that you fall into the third category.

Welcome to the first post of Communicate with Moxie—the blog.  I chose this name because the best leaders are those who possess fortitude and determination, spirit and courage. They care about people, and they care about making a difference. I believe the best leaders are those who are willing to learn and apply innovative communication techniques to capture attention, challenge the status quo, and get results.

My commitment is to provide you with quick, easy access to research, tips, and tools about how to:

  • Build your confidence and credibility.
  • Acquire gender intelligence, what I call GQ, so that you are not shut down or discounted.
  • Understand different communication styles to leverage the differences to build strong teams.
  • Unlock your creativity with quotes, stories, games, and metaphors to spice up presentations and meetings and to gain commitment, buy-in, and action from direct reports, peers, senior leadership, and customers.
  • Reduce your own stress and respond creatively when others botch their communications with you.

Oh, and another thing? True leadership is not a title. It’s a state of mind. I am writing Communicate with Moxie for anyone who chooses to take the lead and make a difference.

Moxie. Although Apple may not have used the term in this old ad, the essence of leadership moxie is exactly what they captured by stating:  The ones who see things differently . . . They change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

I invite you to subscribe, send me your comments and ideas, and share with your colleagues. Most of all, I hope to provide you with innovative communication resources for you to use on your own leadership journey.

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