What do good business leaders do?

jack-welch-quotes-55229The short answer to the question I posed in this headline is that leaders communicate.

In classes, I like to use this quote from former GE CEO Jack Welch. Many years ago while teaching an Organizational Communications class, I read “Jack Welch and the GE Way” by Robert Slater. The book opened my eyes to the concept of a CEO leading through communication. Much of the work of a leader is communication–to the staff, to all employers, to shareholders, and to consumers. In the book, Slater writes, “And the only way to lead, as far as Welch is concerned, is to teach a clear-cut, consistent, well-thought-out management philosophy. The only way to lead is to talk about the company’s values. So that’s what he does, almost all the time.”