Leading Communications

“Every human advancement or reversal can be understood through communication.”

These words greeted and inspired me two nights a week two decades ago as I worked on my M.A. in communications management.

They were the opening of Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg’s mission statement at the USC Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication.

And his words could not be more true today.

Without communication, has anything actually happened?

It reminds me of the brain-bending question, “if a tree falls in the forest, but no one hears it, does it make a sound?”

The corollary?

If a company or a person does something great but no one knows about it, does it really matter?

Could be a game-changing product, a life-changing customer experience or an awe-inspiring place to work. If others don’t know about it, that company or person won’t reach its full potential.

That’s the power of communication. And that’s what I’m excited to explore in this blog.

Because once we’re done with our formal education, we begin the lifelong journey of learning something new every day. (Or sometimes every moment, depending on how fast your life, industry or company moves.)

And there are three themes I’ll explore in this blog.

Leading the function. What does it mean to lead a corporate communications function today – and tomorrow? What kinds of people should you hire and how should you help them develop? How should you structure and lead your team? How should you change and grow your team and the function over time?

Leading the field. How will you contribute to the body of knowledge in corporate communications? What experiments can you conduct in your organization to improve the best practices in communications? How can you innovate with your unique challenges and opportunities?

Leading the future. What are the ways you can create a compelling future – for your organization, your team and yourself – through the creative and innovative practice of communications? How can you not just survive constant change but genuinely thrive and create a better world?

Many successful bloggers have inspired me in this journey. Who all say, in one way or another, “just start.”

And isn’t that true of any important endeavor? Just start.

A speaker at TEDx Manhattan Beach also inspired me this fall. Travel writer David Hochman shared his adventure in the Omo Valley as a metaphor for his life’s mantra, “why not me?

He described the physical manifestation of his mindset as a “thumb slam” – slamming against the “send” key in act of boldness.

So here’s my opening thumb slam!

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Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, How to Build Your Career through Social Media, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “Leading Communications”

  1. Caroline, Great start! You have been busy. It is nice to see all the connections you are making between so many different sources, events,mand experiences. I look forward to reading more. I hope that you write about more of your observations on leaders who are also effective communicators. Happy Birthday!

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