You’re being cryptic when you’re not being explicit. Doh! The thing is you don’t realise that you’re being cryptic. For instance, you talk about the vision and or mission of your enterprise and not what it is.
Never make reference to the mission by saying, “our mission”. What you must do is simply state the mission. You and those you lead can never hear what you’re about too many times.
Even as a leader you need to be reminded what you’re about. And, who better to do that than yourself?
Your next responsibility is your enterprise by way of those you lead. Your language is important. The role of leadership is to make things obvious.
This means nothing must be left to any other interpretation. Being cryptic will undermine your endeavours.
It will create a divide between what you’re doing to make mission happen and the mission itself. When this happens you’re not likely to have an inspired team.
Inspiration isn’t everything, but it is important.
Never talk about “staying true to our vision or mission”. Talk about your mission, explicitly. For instance, “we need to stay true to providing fresh vegetables to people who have nowhere to grow them”.
Don’t talk about, making a difference. Talk about how you’re making or hope to ‘make a difference’.
Being cryptic creates a divide between your activities and what they are achieving or ought to.
Cryptic leaders (and their communication) usurp needed mental energy from those they lead. This happens as teams are forced to first decipher what you say or could be saying. What every team needs with every interaction with its leaders, are clear marching orders.
I’m not talking about being nitpicky. It is not about being petty. That is counterproductive. I’m not talking about teams walking away having heard the message behind what you say.
Beware the trap of cryptic leaders and communicators. They tend to think the vaguer they are the “deeper” they are. Vagueness does not equip your team to focus on what they need to for your organisation to win. Being cryptic disempowers those you lead, and ultimately destroy what you should be building together.
Being cryptic will obliterate your mission. Craft your communication. Clarify your communication, what your wins are. Don’t refer to goals, mission or vision; state them.
image: Cédric Dhaenens