Getting the Message Across and Doing it the Best

On what list would you find Oprah, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Jack Welch and Benjamin Netanyahu?

That group comprises half of the top 10 living communicators who influence change, according to Ronn Torossian, a New York public relations agency owner. The author says he goes beyond the usual suspects to identify those who "reach people emotionally, shift attitudes and spark trends." He notes there are lessons to be learned from each.

For example:

Jack Welch: He has been called the greatest CEO in America. In practical terms, he earned the name because of General Electric’s unparalleled record of earnings growth and over more than two decades while he was chairman and CEO (1981-2001). He has attributed his success to an ability to focus on solutions and execute them using the right people. In order to do that well, you have to know how to communicate a message and at that Welch is a genius. His secret? “In leadership you have to exaggerate every statement you make. You’ve got to repeat it a thousand times… Overstatements are needed to move a large organization,” he told Thomas Neff and James Citrin in their book Lessons from the Top. Of course, you have to back up works with action – otherwise what you say will never be taken seriously. Today, when Welch gives a speech he embodies true American optimism and risk-taking.

Take-away: Words are most valuable when backed up by deeds.

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