Communicating successfully is made up of many - sometimes tiny - components which come together to create the whole. For a campaign it will be the right messaging targeted and delivered in the right way, as it will be for a brand or business. For an individual it is often a blend of intangible elements which create a persona attractive enough to a target audience that they listen to what is being communicated.
There are examples through history of significant public figures finding ways to boost their standing in the eyes of their publics. General Washington wore a freshly powdered wig and his trademark blue tunic to always have an immaculate appearance which created a ‘presence’ which, in turn, motivated and inspired the men who served under him. Others have used accessories to create their presence or boost their persona. Winston Churchill with his cigar and ‘v for victory’ sign, Margaret Thatcher with her hair, suits and handbags, General Patton’s twin pistols or Field Marshall Montgomery’s choice of distinctive hats. In some cases these were individuals who were hiding their own self-doubts as much as building a powerful presence.
Most of these historical examples wouldn’t work now but the important point is that many of history’s most powerful leaders and communicators found a way to build a presence. This brings us to this week’s unfortunate award winner who has been on quite a journey over the last few years. From a David Brent type figure in danger of becoming a laughing stock, to a man who understood his role in his team’s success, to a man who now is being issued with sympathy rather than plaudits.
Brendan Rogers was once a man who would have licked himself if he were an ice lolly and this showed in his style of bombastic, cliché laden communication, this was then dialled down as his team, Liverpool, became successful. Now though, he has shrunk into himself and looks uncertain, lacking in confidence and ideas. His presence has evaporated at a time it is needed more than ever. The fight seems to have gone out of him. If this is how he looks to those of us watching on Match Of The Day how must he come over to the group of players he is expected to inspire every day of his working life? Perhaps this is why his Liverpool team is woefully lacking in any identity or will to fight and win.
I once heard a former speechwriter to President Nixon say, “good communication spells the difference between a leader and a manager”. In this case Brendan Rodgers has seen his personality shrink to such a degree that he is no longer a manager of men, let alone a leader which is why he is my Mis-Communicator of the Week.
Mis-Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.
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