Smoke Signals

April 23rd, 2013  | 

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 is an executive coach, consultant and speaker who has delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. Greg advises leaders at some of the world’s most admired companies, and his views about leadership have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Investor’s Business Daily, Leader to Leader, and other major publications. He’s written five leadership books. His newest book, How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices (Sourcebooks), examines decision-making in history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies. How Leaders Decide

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