Paul Raggio | What a leader should communicate

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Bob Woodward’s latest book, “Rage,” is causing predictable reactions in Washington, D.C. Cable news pundits at the ends of the political spectrum are either applauding the president for his downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19 or accusing him of lying to the public about the mortal consequences and doing nothing about it. Churchillian World War II Blitzkrieg quotes are part of the banter with both sides going to their corners, reciting them to make their points and satiate their tribes. The White House claims the president’s comments meant to calm, not panic the nation. Opponents claim the president’s remarks downplayed (the president’s words) the seriousness of the pandemic, resulting in needless loss of life. 

People often ask me what the most challenging aspect of leading is. Without hesitation, I answer communication, all types of communication…written, spoken, nonverbal, compounded by emotion, gestures, expressions, and exacerbated by ill-chosen words and misguided behaviors. My parents, as well as my Jesuit professors, drove home in me that you can have the most incredible thought in the world, but if you can’t effectively communicate it, your idea is for naught, and no one will benefit!  

Clear, direct, purposeful, and …

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