Everyday I receive endless corporate correspondence purporting to be from various CEOs and their underlings. I say ‘purported to be’ because other than a name mentioned at the end of the correspondence there is actually no way to tell.
Regardless of the company or organisation it is coming from it all appears to have been written by the same person – a rather dull and dim-witted person at that. You have probably been receiving the same correspondence. It contains phrases like ‘going forward’, ‘cutting edge’, ‘industry standard’, market leading’ and ‘interoperable’ (my personal favourite).
As David Meerman Scott points out in his excellent e-book “The Gobbledygook Manifesto” when we see these phrases and others like them our eyes tend to glaze over and we scratch our heads wondering what the hell this is all supposed to mean.
It is so prevalent that it means we have a tendency to automatically dismiss all communications of this ilk and quickly consign it to the dustbin of ‘same old, same old’.
David speaks very eloquently about the inherent marketing problems in these approaches but I think there is an even bigger leadership issue. As the CEO your voice should resonate through any communication that has your name attached. I should be able to picture you saying it and recognise both the language and the sentiment.
If I see a piece of communication that has supposedly come from your desk but doesn’t represent your voice then I am going to start making a lot of very unfavourable assumptions about your commitment, your level of caring and ultimately your ability to lead.
Let me see ‘you’ in your communication and not the ‘gobbledygook’ that plagues the business world.