EFFECTIVE WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
In the last section, we discussed how important face-to-face and phone call conversations are as a means of communicating ideas. When it comes to formal business arrangements, however, there is no substitute for the written word. All of your written communications need to be clear, concise and grammatically correct in order to make sure that everyone understands what is being said and/or agreed to.
In the course of your business leadership, you are going to have to create many forms of writing. They will include:
Many people hate having to write, but the truth is that the better you are at clear written communication geared towards the right audience, the more effective a leader you will be.
Leverage Your Content
One of the best ways to create good written content easily is to write the essentials once, and repurpose them as needed. Keep all of your most important communications in clearly labeled files and folders. For example, your business plan, mission statement, quarterly reports and so on should all be at your fingertips. Your best PowerPoint presentations can easily be adapted to a range of situations.
Keep Great Records
Good leaders are well organized. Always have a paper trail of names, dates, times, places, emails, receipts and more for any important projects. These are essential for tax purposes if you are running a business. They also serve as back-up in case you need hard copies of all these items in the event that something happens to your computers.
Stay on top of all your filing, digital and paper. Keep at least two paper copies of all of your most important contracts: one for storage, and one for consulting and copying if needed.
Keep your computer and emails organized. Keep your papers filed properly in a fireproof cabinet so that you can lay your hand on important documents at a moment’s notice if you have to. Use back-up hard drives and cloud-based storage as well to ensure nothing ever gets lost.
Also, think about what would happen if something were ever to happen to you. We are not indispensable, of course. But in the event of an accident or illness, good organization can make things a great deal easier for anyone in the company who has to take over your duties if, God forbid, you were to become ill, or if you yourself were ever to be laid off.