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4 Ways to Boost Influence as the Chief Meaning Officer


Are you a Chief Meaning Officer?  As a leader, you should be.  Watch Jack and Suzy Welch describe why it’s important to be a CMO in this brief interview with Adam Grant:

The role of a leader provides an opportunity to serve as Chief Meaning Officer, especially in times of change, but also during normal operations.  A leader provides personal meaning and a sense of true purpose to the following four areas:

  1. Where we’re going
  2. Why we’re going there
  3. How we’re going to get there
  4. What’s in it for me

Zig Ziglar taught me that people have a radio station in their heads called W.I.I.F.M. (What’s In It For Me).  We inspire others when we communicate in language that specific radio station picks up.  In the video, Welch describes how many leaders stop after number 3 – but that the real power comes in the 4th point.  He and Suzy share a passionate response about how leaders can engage their people by answering the W.I.I.F.M. question.

Give meaning to the Positive and the Negative

It’s critical for leaders to continuously frame the meaning around all outcomes generated including the successes as well as the setbacks.  Any bold vision is going to be met with challenges.  Great leaders have the ability to put setbacks in perspective and frame them appropriately.  They are able to find the learning opportunities and keep their organization focused forward.  They continuously point out how the team is learning, growing and improving through both successes and setbacks.  They understand that success breeds success in the same way that failure breeds failure.  How much more resourceful would your team be if they viewed setbacks as a way to refine their approach rather than defining their potential to succeed?

Think of yourself as the Chief Meaning Officer for your team and watch the performance of your organization rise to the next level.  It may be out of your comfort zone, but if you’ll do it you’ll see results.

How have you kept your team resourceful after a set back?

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