Smoke Signals

  1. April 23rd, 2013  | 

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Published in Leadership

Last month, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was named the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

He will be known as Pope Francis I.

You’re likely familiar with the papal electoral process. After being locked in the Sistine Chapel, the Cardinals vote by secret ballot. If no pope is selected on the first vote, the ballots are burned with damp straw to create black smoke that signals to outsiders there’s no new pope.

Voting continues until a new pope is chosen. Once that occurs, the ballots are burned along with a mixture of potassium chlorate, milk sugar and pine rosin to produce white smoke, the signal that Catholics have a new pope.

In any enterprise – profit or not-for-profit – communication can be the difference between effective performance and poor performance.

In a Bustin & Co. survey of more than 3,000 executives from the U.S., Canada and U.K., a whopping 70% say they can do a better job communicating inside their organization.

When it comes to leading your organization, what kind of signals are you sending?

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 250 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 600 keynotes and workshops on every continent except Antarctica, and he coaches leaders who are inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book— Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) —is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.

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