For leaders to display well-rounded executive presence they have to be effective communicators. But that does not just apply to speaking or writing. One of the keys to business communication is to ensure the free, unimpeded flow of critical information between teams, partners, and collaborators. So breaking down barriers to communication is a necessary skill and integral component of genuine leadership.
Why the Silo Mentality Detracts from Executive Presence
The silo effect borrows its name from agricultural silos where grains are stored in separate compartments. Similarly, when the silo effect is present, people hoard information instead of sharing it with others across the organizational grid.
Imagine that a file containing data that you need is on the computer of someone working down the hall from you. You might waste the entire day trying to find it, or spend a whole week trying to recreate it from other sources.
Maybe they are withholding information because knowledge is power and they want to take credit for it. Or they may simply not realize that you need it, because the person you both report to lacks the communication skills of a strong leader.
The Toll it Takes on Productivity
When leaders fail to break down these silos performance and productivity is diminished, cross-pollination of ideas is disrupted, and creative collaboration.
The silo mentality can, in fact, reduce corporate efficiency by as much as 30%. To put that into perspective, if you have 100 people on a project and you lose 30% of your efficiency, that is the same as losing 30 members of your team
Needless to say, leaders who want to succeed have to be effective and aggressive silo-breakers. That’s one of the hallmarks of marketable executive presence.
Communication is a 2-Way Street
Every leader should protect and promote those who look up to them. But high level executive presence is also about seeing the bigger picture to benefit the entire organization.
If you are insensitive to the needs of your associates and their departmental challenges you aren’t a qualified leader.. Executive presence means to see things from everyone’s vantage point with a solution-oriented leadership vision.
How would you feel if you were in their situation? How would you react if your department faced the same challenge? These questions are symptomatic of healthy, open-minded executive presence driven by a panoramic vision not limited by a silo mentality.
How is the silo mentality alive and well within your team, department or organization? What steps can you take to break down that silo and assert your positive leadership and executive presence?
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS 1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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