Why should CEO-Aspirants train themselves in CEO Communication before they become CEO?
CEOs spend 90% of their time communicating with their stakeholders. Given the huge chunks of time CEOs spend communicating and the critical importance of communication to unleash human potential in this Information Age, this article argues the case for communication training for senior managers who aspire to be CEO.
Help you in your journey
Honing your CEO Communication skills can help you rise in your organisation faster. For example, one aspect of CEO Communication is “executive presence” – how you exude power and influence so that those around you perceive you as a leader. When you practice executive presence, you will be identified as a future leader. And that will speed your journey to the top.
Time to practice
Like any other skill, communication skills too need time for practice. It takes time to perfect your own unique style of communication that engages people. You cannot do this overnight. So, if you start the practice before you are CEO, then you can hit the ‘communication road’ running when you become CEO.
When you are CEO, there are lots on your plate. Time to develop your communication skills will be at the very bottom of your pile of priorities as you attend to more ‘urgent’ matters. In other words, communication training will not be a priority for you once you become CEO.
We are all human, so “pride” gets in the way of growing our communication skills when we are CEOs. As CEOs we believe we know it all. "I will prepare and some day my chance will come”, said Abraham Lincoln. Therefore, we should train ourselves in the art of communication before we become CEO.
Start before it’s too late!
When you become CEO, you are on show. This is not the time to practice – it is the time to deliver! Soon after he took over as CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt had to deal with the terror attacks of 9/11. When you become CEO, you do not know what is going to happen next. If you wish to be prepared for any eventuality, you should start now!
Professional Profile of Author - Yukthi K. Gunasekera
Yukthi K. Gunasekera is a specialist in CEO Communication with over 30 years of experience in public speaking. He is a linguist with fluency in English, German, and Sinhala, with a basic competency in French. Yukthi is a US-educated lawyer who also holds a post-graduate diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK. Encompassing over 10 years of experience in corporate communication at IBM Sri Lanka and John Keells Holdings, his mission is to enable people to live rewarding lives through his proprietary training method “Communicate By Objective” (CBO). Yukthi welcomes reader comments to this article via firstname.lastname@example.org.