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TIME (Part 4): Your Message

In this series, as we move toward getting TIME on our side, we have explored two components: tenacity and intentionality… The question is how do we put these first two components into practice? This is where message comes in. Message is the third leg on the table of TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy).

Be sure to read TIME (Part 3): Intentionality, with Direction.

Sharing a vision, a message, is a central role of a leader. A vision gives people a bigger picture of what things can be like. It helps people raise their hopes and expectations; it inspires them. When people are inspired, they are more likely to work on something or for something.

Your message and the way you communicate it has a big impact on your ability to get along with people and achieve your goals. Good communication skills can help you avoid conflict, clarify mixed messages and solve problems that are part of every-day life. This is true not only on a personal level but on a corporate level. Between the grand visions of a board presentation and the day-to-day activities of the average employee, a gaping hole often exists. Often a gap exists between the practical translation of what a company’s message should be versus what it is.

How do we narrow the gap? Jan Phillips of the Syracuse Cultural Workers expressed a powerful perspective on this when she said, “No matter what our attempts to inform, it is our ability to inspire that will turn the tides.” The solution is as simple as keeping the message informative and inspirational. A meaningful message must be specific and have impact.

Think of the message you want to communicate in any situation at your workplace or in society. Consider the stories of hundreds of leaders in business (for example, Steve Jobs), government (for example, Lech Walesa) and civil rights (for example, Dr. Martin Luther King) and how they used a simple message to inform and inspire. Can you see the power in communicating your vision and your message to others? No one can decide to follow you until they know what direction you’re headed in, but if your message is one that touches a chord with many people, and if you can communicate it well; people will join you in reaching toward your goals.

How often do you need to communicate your message or your vision? Constantly!

Whenever you talk to people about your project, group or organization, tell people what you are working towards. The more you do it, the better you will get at it, and the more people will be willing to support you. As you lead, you should be communicating your vision all the time. People look to leaders to inspire them and keep them on the right track. The more you are enthusiastic and clear about where you are going, the more likely it is that people will follow your lead. Don’t underestimate the power of your ideas and words. Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” You, as much as anyone, have what it takes to lead others and to help them envision a better organization, community, and world.

Once you have made the decision to intentionally share your vision and your message, if you pursue it with tenacity, you will have completed another leg in moving from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side.”

What will you do today to make this happen?

For more inspirational articles from Dan Sheedy, check out Performance Thinking with Dan Sheedy here.