One upside to long commutes from San Francisco down to Sunnyvale or Santa Clara is that I’ve always got lots of time for podcasts!
A few weeks ago I listened to Ben Horowitz on The Tim Ferriss Show talking about his new book, What You Do is Who You Are. He told a story about Andy Grove excoriating someone who walked into his senior leadership meeting late. Andy knew he was sending a message to everyone at Intel. Ben summarized the story with a great soundbite: “You’re always talking to everyone.”
Your team watches, listens to, and spreads everything you say. They consciously and unconsciously take in the lessons from your behavior and your words. They ingest and interpret every word, every signal.
Your external communications – media interviews, speeches – become powerful internal communications tools, even if you don’t intend them to be.
What you say in your senior team meeting may as well have been said at your All-Hands. What you say to a customer gets to an analyst and then to the press.
This is partly terrifying, because there’s nowhere to hide. So you’d better be clear and disciplined about what you say. Everywhere.
But it’s also great because when you embrace this truth, you’ll realize you already have a fantastic vehicle for message penetration right at your fingertips. When you say the same thing, purposefully and deliberately, to all of your audiences, you create an echo chamber that reinforces your message and defines your brand. Use it and create something great!
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