The danger of communication is 
the illusion it has been achieved.
George Bernard Shaw

The primary responsibilities of the CEO are few. One of the most important is communication. Clear, consistent, and inspirational are some of the words that describe the communication that is required.

However, there are many challenges to effective communication. For example: you tell A, but not B, who is hired some time after you tell A. So B doesn't get the message. Therefore, the CEO must communicate in a way whereby all get the message, regardless of when they are hired, for all time. How do you do this? See "Write It Down".

The title of this post is a line from George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, who should know a few things about communication.

Consider for a moment how many times you thought you had been very clear in your communication to another person, and later you were astonished to learn that they did something completely different than you intended. This happens all the time, and it's a huge waste of time and energy. You can't afford either.

So how do you make sure your communications are effective? Consider this quick quiz to learn more, and consider making effective communication a major training priority in your business.

Communication is a two-way street. It is your responsibility to be sure your message was understood fully, and it is the recipient's job to be sure they understand your message.

As CEO, you are communicating continuously, whether you realize it or not. The clothes you wear, the office hours you keep, the way you talk, your posture, your expressions... everything about you communicates a message that your team will emulate. Is your message congruent with the corporate culture you want to build? You must lead by example.


  1. I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said,
    but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

    Robert McCloskey

  2. Here's a fun comic from XKCD that says it all: