Getting Your Leadership Communication Wrong Can Cost You Your Job

leadership communication competence leadership communication confidence Nov 23, 2022
Leadership Communication Confidence is emotion based. Master your emotions to master your confidence.

I don't know about you, but, I hate platitudinal quotes from "experts."

But, this one, "Communication is the real work of leadership," by Nitin Nohria, the Dean of the Harvard Business School, is particularly pertinent, although somewhat generic.

It is especially true when a leader is expected to deliver results and doesn't. Because they are expected to answer for it.

This is especially true in athletics, and no sport requires this more than football.

Recently one quarterback failed miserably in his communication as team leader and it cost him his starting job in the National Football League. 

And, it may have cost him his career.

Back in November, '22, New York Jets Zach Wilson performed terribly against the New England Patriots in a game in that his team's defense excelled. The Jets' defense played exceptionally well and gave the offense a chance to win the game.

After New England scored on the last play of the game to win, Wilson was asked at the post-game press conference if he felt his performance let down his defense.

His immediate and only answer was ""

As you might imagine, his defensive teammates were not happy when they heard his comments.

Historically quarterbacks and coaches in football will always take accountability and responsibility when the team loses and give credit to others when they win.

Wilson violated this standard.

Two days later the coach announced he was being benched for the team's next game.

Wilson is 23-years old, and in just his second season in professional football.

But, he's been a quarterback his entire playing career since his youth. He should know better.

His frustration and emotions got in the way of his thought process in the heat of the moment at the interview lecturn.

Confidence is an emotion.

You can master your confidence by mastering your emotions.

You can master your leadership communication by mastering your emotions that put your confidence in the right place.

Leaders, like NFL quarterbacks, cannot afford to be at the effect of situations and their environment. 

Zach Wilson learned this lesson the hard way. 

Within minutes of the press conference, Wilson addressed the team directly, apologizing.

All reports have teammates saying that Wilson was humble, contrite, and genuine in his apology. It has been accepted and the team is moving on. Despite all that, the season for the Jets and Wilson did not proceed well and Wilson's future as the New York Jets quarterback heading into this off-season is in doubt.

When you develop the habit of communication confidence you'll be able to bring the right emotional focus to any situation that will allow you to communicate appropriately as the leader others need you to be.

In what situations do you struggle with your communication confidence? How can you become an even better communicator when you build greater communication confidence and learn to master your emotions?

Leave a comment below and share your experience so we can all learn from each other.