Change Is One Precursor
In spite of the heading, this chapter is not about communication – its importance or how to do it better.
Yes, Tom starts the chapter with a few remarks about being clear but after getting through the obligatory “say what you mean and mean what you say” platitudes he launches into the real message, change.
Tom has never been accused of not saying what he thought. He admits to being blunt. What he thinks he says. No one stands around wondering what Tom is thinking but they often forget Tom’s message because his thoughts evaporate in the heat of his critical spirit. His brusqueness creates the kind of undertow that sweeps his message away before it takes root.
And Tom, in almost a confessional tone, says he needed to change. His old style approach to leadership made him a “dinosaur” so an update was needed.
But not too worry. As Tom says in the book, his personality and direct nature haven’t changed. His methods haven’t changed. His core values haven’t changed. What changed was his attitude and he ends the chapter with a simple but revealing statement. “My message hasn’t changed but the way I communicate it has.”
And that is huge.
How many people live and die and never change? How often is change only a measure of how much worse a person becomes? How big must a person be to really embrace positive change? And is success really possible in any profession without constructive change?
For Tom this chapter is personal – for anyone it would be. He shows his humble side. You get the since that learning to listen – and he admits to doing just that – didn’t come easy. He also learned to build consensus rather than just dictate the rules.
I guess you could say Tom went from leadership by iron-fisted control to leadership by communication but communication was the sub message. The real issue for Tom was change.
In this chapter Tom uses his experience to show the difference between hard and hard headed. Thankfully, Tom is the former not the latter.