NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 16)
FOUR TIPS TO BE aN aUTHENTIC
ROCK STaR COMMUNICaTOR
How Candor Determines Performance and Results
By L.J. Rittenhouse, CEO Rittenhouse Rankings
INvESTORS IN a HOTEL meeting
room wait to hear presentations from two
utility CEOs, a widely-followed financial
analyst and a respected portfolio manager.
The CEOs start. Each one shows PowerPoint
slides that illustrate their large companies'
"bright futures." As they speak, people
in the audience read smartphones and
Wall Street Journals.
Up next is Ken, the financial analyst.
He begins, "At the end of this presentation
I may not have many friends left in the
audience." At once, smartphones and
newspapers drop. Ken describes the losses
in the CEOs' companies and questions
their ability to navigate industry change.
The audience is abuzz when he sits down.
Were the executives insulted or inspired by
Finally Scott, the portfolio manager,
goes to the podium. "When I'm finished," he
states, "I know I won't have friends left in
the audience." Now everyone pays attention.
Scott describes a meeting with his investors,
who are angry and upset because the fund
is losing money. One investor, "a retiree with
16 NCHRReview* Spring/Summer 2016
hands the size of meat loaves," shouted out
loud, "Why should I invest in your fund?"
Scott pauses and turns to the CEOs.
He asks them, "Why do you deserve this
man's capital, his savings from a lifetime
of hard work?" Startled, the CEOs offer
Over dinner that night, people from the
audience agree that the CEOs' remarks were
predictable and forgettable. They believe
that Ken connected with the audience, but
his remarks were noteworthy for their tone
and less for their content. Scott, however,
connected with everyone. His message
stuck. His authenticity made a difference.
This story offers four lessons for
becoming an authentic rock star
1) Find the right words: The words chosen
by the speakers made all the difference.
Clichés, like "bright future" and
"create shareholder value,"
In contrast, the word
"friends" chosen by
the portfolio manager
transformed the meeting from merely
exchanging financial and strategic
information, to an opportunity for
building relationships. Why does this
matter? Warren Buffett once said that
finding "the right word" is everything.
Until he did this, he could not get his
thinking clear - and clarity is essential
to build trusting relationships. They are
the foundation for growing sustainable,
2) Invite in the elephants: Make a
difference by inviting the elephants into
the "room" of your communication. Scott
did this by describing his client's hands,
the "size of meat loaves." This image
restored the power relationship between
the CEOs as managers of the company
and their shareholder bosses, including
those who need company profits to
support their retirement savings. Today,
the words "fiduciary responsibility"
are too often absent in corporate
governance reporting. They have been
replaced by words like "compliance
regulations," "executive compensation
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016
2016 NCSHRM State Council
Message from the Director
NCSHRM State Council Awards and Scholarships
Taking the Mystery Out of Strategic Planning
2016 NCSHRM State Conference: Lead Differently
Great Reads: Leads Eat Last and Reinventing Organizations
Creating a Productivity Culture
Legal Update: Employment Law Update — It’s All About the Agencies
Four Tips to be an Authentic Rock Star Communicator
Products & Services Guide
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016