There is what people think leadership is, and then there is what leadership is. An aspect of leadership that often surprises us is the amount of repetition involved with casting a vision, communicating our values, and clarifying the strategic plan. We often find ourselves bored with our own message, longing to switch it up and make it more creative. However, this is when our message can become unclear.
Stick to the message. Effective frequency, the number of times a person needs to hear something, requires anywhere from 3 to 20 times. Many are familiar with the “Rule of 7” marketing strategy, meaning individuals need to hear a message seven times before they really believe it or act on it. Using marketing to inform the way we deliver our messages is wise.
Our attention is in high demand. It takes something to cut through all the white noise in our organizations, companies, and society. Understanding that the first time we say something, our teams are first wondering if we are serious; the second time, they are getting comfortable with the idea, the third time, they are organizing themselves because we actually might be serious about what we are saying. The fourth time they might be thinking, okay, here we go.
However, at any point, if the message we are sending gets interrupted, think text message, an email, they had to use the restroom during the presentation…just to name a few of the interruptions naturally occurring today, the message is lost. As a result, we find ourselves on repeat. Here is what is true: a leader’s ultimate impact depends on the embodiment of their message. How we send the message, how we live the message, and how we repeat the message is directly related to our message being heard and remembered.
So, don’t be frustrated by being on repeat. Know it’s part of the job. A good sign of progress is when the team starts messaging back to us the exact message, we have been sending to them. Until then, keep calm and repeat on.