Effective communication is an important aspect of leadership. Lieutenant Commander Jason Shell leads a discussion on leadership, accountability, risk mitigation, and process.
In grade school we use to play the “telephone game.” The game involved a message traveling through a group of people and returning to its originator. The fun of it was that the message rarely ever arrived back unchanged, and the extent of the change often was alarming and highly entertaining. What I did not realize until later in life was that this childhood game should serve as a cautionary tale for leaders. The game teaches us that subordinates do not always hear, internalize, and repeat a message in ways that are consistent with the leader’s intent. As a commanding officer, this lesson was brought home to me during an exit interview I had with a bright sailor who was leaving service to begin college.