Will your company be focused on game-changing growth in the New Year? If so, it’s critical to communicate in a way that connects with employees, strategic partners, customers, investors, and other key stakeholders.
Transformation is more than a matter of setting and achieving ambitious goals. It requires everyone to give up familiar routines and adopt new behaviors and performance, as your company moves into uncharted territory. That’s why the more energized and connected everyone is to where the company is going, the more likely it is that the transformation will succeed. Communication that engages both the heart and mind is essential to creating the momentum it takes to get past the obstacles.
A great example of a CEO who has mindfully shaped his communication to lead game-changing growth is John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. Part of his approach to transforming the company was his insight that he needed to shape his public communication with employees and customers who needed to feel excited about the company.
That’s why when we saw an article in the Wall Street Journal, “T-Mobile’s CEO Has a Side Hustle: Hosting a Goofy Online Cooking Show,” we had to go over to Facebook to see this for ourselves. (Note: A WSJ Subscription is required to read the full article).
At first, we thought we would tune in for one episode of John Legere’s “Slow Cooker Sunday.” But just as with eating potato chips, we couldn’t consume just one show. These postings are addictive!
In each episode, we see John Legere in his kitchen wildly following a recipe he’s found for a simple Sunday dinner. This is just Legere doing what he loves to do while connecting with his community after a typical week of traveling around the world for work.
These short videos are live-streamed onto Facebook with the help of an assistant holding an iPhone; they are deliberately unpolished and playful.
For example, in one episode, Legere, wearing his signature T-Mobile magenta clothing, exuberantly throws ingredients into the slow cooker as he dances around the kitchen. With all of the jokes and the question of the week, he comes across as an authentic, energizing, and accessible person.
One more thing – John Legere is the CEO of T-Mobile, and he delivers important company information so that we can listen and can participate in the conversation.
At the beginning and end of each episode of Slow Cooker Sunday, Legere inserts news and insights about T-Mobile’s business dealings and offerings. What’s the latest on T-Mobile Tuesdays? Why didn’t the merger with Sprint go through? He’ll tell you what’s happening, and also respond to viewers’ questions and comments.
What are the results? Slow Cooker Sunday has grown to attract more than a million viewers a week. Each episode prompts hundreds of comments and shares from employees, customers, potential customers, and other stakeholders. It’s clear that understanding and responding to the needs of customers and employees for a bolder, brasher, more accessible CEO communication style, combined with information about product initiatives, enabled Legere to increase stakeholder connection. This has helped transform T-Mobile from a struggling company to one of the fastest growing mobile networks in the US.
Of course, Legere’s approach is not right for everyone; you need to shape a unique communication strategy that’s right for you and your company. Whatever your approach, however, communicating with stakeholders in a way that creates a personal connection, as well as providing information, is essential to ignite and sustain the momentum it takes for your transformation to succeed.