Your voice

Published on
January 27, 2014
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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First time writer Kerri Twigg wrote a great summary this week on the importance of finding “your authentic voice” as a leader; on the value found in striking a balance between directive and supportive tones. The authors of the book were literally referring to your voice – how you speak and interact with others – but the message resonated with me on a different level; namely, how to maintain a clear tone (or “voice”) as you scale.

We’ve been growing at a pretty decent clip over here at Actionable. Up to 12 team members (from 3 this time last year). 25 consultants leveraging the brand, globally. It’s exciting. And yet, I find that I’m personally a little less connected to the details of every aspect of the business. Business owner or not, you can likely relate.

As you’re promoted up throughout an organization (your own or someone else’s), your personal impact on the end client experience becomes more removed. It’s more important than ever that you have a clear voice – a set of values and a tone you would use in interacting with the “clients” (internal or external) of your tribe. I believe it’s the responsibility of the leader to set that tone – not to dictate exact words or phrasing (kill the script, for the love of God!), but to infuse and solidify the tribe’s personality.

Speaking of personality, we recently launched a Pinterest channel. I’ll be the first to admit that Pinterest isn’t really my thing. I’m not (publicly) questioning it’s $3.8B valuation (seriously?), I just never really felt the platform fit our brand. We’re about books (text!), right? Not images. And yes, I even uttered the evil words – “Where’s the ROI in putting our attention here?” Gary, I’m sorry.

It took reconnecting with our defined personality – that is, providing light-bulb moments in bite-sized, accessible formats. So Pinterest works. And having people on the team who focus on different vehicles for sharing the same message is powerful.