By Guest Contributor Paul Dupuis
Madonna said it best in her 1989 hit song, “Express yourself”. When you have something important to share with world, go forth and share it! As we learned with the first ‘E’, the transformative leadership journey begins when the leader creates a compelling vision, a greater purpose which is rooted in the ‘why’. The vision should be bold, an ambition, less focused on the outcomes, but more on how it will change the world.
- The vision should be bold and ambitious
- The compelling vision is focused on why, not what
Express yourself online and offline
- Express requires use of the omni-channel
- To Express effectively the leader needs to create a strategy
- Express should be dynamic and fluid
- Express to inspire
The next challenge is to take this carefully crafted vision out the door and share it. Back in the early days of my own journey as a leader, the options were simple. Remember this was pre-internet, no cell phones, and of course no social media. Leaders used the tried and tested ‘face to face’ route to communicate the vision. This was done through in person leadership team meetings, or addresses to the floor in the office. This would typically be followed by a written memo to all employees, perhaps a video recording to be distributed to leaders, and the vision statement would eventually find its way into a frame and hung on the walls of the organization. And then, the cycle of wash, rinse repeat would begin.
Considering the options in those days, this approach was quite effective. In part because one element was critical for success, the direct involvement of the leader him/herself. Fast forward to today, there are so many more options on how to communicate the vision with the world. In fact, when we combine the offline and online channels, there are at least twenty unique opportunities at our fingertips.
But as we’ve learned the hard way, the more choices we have the higher the risk is of going too wide and shallow. This is the moment when leaders need to reach out for help from the pro’s, in this case starting with the HR and Marketing teams. It’s one thing to craft a compelling vision behind closed door, but it’s quite another to take that vision outside and share it in a way that generates interest and excitement. This requires a well-thought omni-channel strategy.
Activate your natural brilliance
- Leaders need to apply their natural brilliance
- Leaders should create evangelists to help express the vision
Each leader has what I would call a natural brilliance when it comes to expressing the vision. Some leaders are very good on the stage, these are the leaders who are comfortable standing in front of a large audience, mic in hand, unscripted except for a few key talking points. On the other hand, there are leaders who dread the stage and prefer to write emails, content for the internal newsletter or perhaps record a brief video message to be shared on social media or internal communications. This is where the leadership team comes in because let’s face it, expressing the vision to the four corners of the organization is not solely the role of the top leader. It’s much more powerful when the same message is being communicated by all pillars of the organization.
The multiplier effect
- Effective leaders activate the multiplier effect
- Express sets the stage for Excite
This is where the omni-channel approach comes in. The what and the why are clear, next is to lay out the ‘how’ when it comes to communicating the vision, and then move to the who. For example, the CEO may be very comfortable in small group settings but tends to avoid the stage, or loses his or her shine in front of a larger group.
On the other hand, the CHRO may be very comfortable and convincing on stage, while the CFO is especially proficient at writing brief messages to the team to communicate his/her message, and the head of marketing may be a master of the short sound bites. The omni-channel strategy to express the vision, then is rooted in both the how and who, leveraging the collective talents of the team. These leaders are the first wave of evangelists, and when the Express strategy is activated, interest in the vision begins to gain the critical momentum required, leading to the next stage, Excite.
So, roll up your sleeves, open the door, and Express yourself!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Dupuis is CEO and Managing Director of Randstad India and the former Chairman of HOPE International (JP). Paul is bilingual, speaking both English and Japanese, and has lived and worked across Asia for more than 25 years.
Learn more about The E5 Movement
From a young backpacker, sleeping on a park bench in Japan, to leading one of the biggest corporate giants in the Asia-Pacific region, Paul Dupuis has built a career through game changing leadership – crafted through his own real-life experiences as an athlete, volunteer and CEO. The E5 is a unique leadership model; a call to action to all leaders, globally, to inspire and lead for change. The five Es are: envision; express; excite; enable; execute.
These five rules of game-changing leadership will revolutionize the way leaders approach each new challenge. The real-life anecdotes combined with the conversational tone of the book make this an accessible and impactful read. Thought provoking and practical, this book will inspire leaders to think about their leadership, adopting the five Es on their mission to lead their teams to excellence – a true game-changer. Pick your five and join the movement!
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