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What it Means to Lead by Example

Ram Charan: Like a coach, you need to show a player how to do it.

I hear many times that so-and-so is fantastic, delivers the numbers, cares for the people, etc. But when it comes to Wall Street, he’s not a good communicator.  The board loves his content, but he’s a lousy presenter.  His reports are no good. 

When the feedback is given like this, it does not go anywhere.  So in this case, I was called in and I listened to the feedback which was very general. So I said, “let me see your report that is going in the next board meeting.”  I took that report. It’s a Power Point. I sat with the individual who wrote it and we rewrote that report in four hours.  We cut the length by two-thirds. 

Like a coach, you need to show a player how to do it.  That’s what I did.  I showed him what I did. I pursued two more reports by him before he sent them to the board and presented.  I got the feedback at the end of the year. What a fantastic job the CFO was doing in presentations!

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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