Leading Views: The Leader as CommunicatorClarence B. Randall (1891-1967) was chairman of Inland Steel Co. of East Chicago, Indiana. A celebrated corporate chieftain, author, and civic leader, he held various government posts, including special consultant to President Eisenhower on foreign economic policy. In The Executive in Transition (1967), he shares his views on the need for developing communication skills:
Speech is a part of manners, and the able businessman must learn to express himself in English which is clear as well as colloquial.
There are too many talkers who have never learned to listen. They broadcast but do not receive. The only time they stop the flow of words is when they are out of breath. Their minds are choked by what they want to say and closed to what the other person wishes to offer in reply.
If I were to name the one skill most important to the young man or woman leaving college hopeful of achieving executive status in industry, I would say without a moment’s hesitation that it is the capacity to speak and write the English language with clarity and force. No idea, however brilliant, has value for society unless it can be communicated to others.
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