Managers today have meeting after meeting. They believe it is more efficient than holding one-to-one meetings. Yes, in one hour ten people are listening to the manager, but at the end those ten people will walk out and carry on as if the last hour did not happen. The key to effective management is to hold fewer meetings and use more one-to-one sessions. They do not have to be long if you are doing plenty of walking around among the staff.
Shackleton always personalized communication. If a major change was about to be made, he would mention it in passing individually so that when he publically announced the change it came as no surprise. The bad news was never unexpected. He always canvassed the men when the likely options were unpleasant. In other words, when he said, “We will need to risk the trip to Elephant Island,” the men knew that this was the only likely option.
Churchill’s personal correspondence kept him close to key people and enabled him to forge very strong personal alliances.
You may wish to read an extract from my Winning Leadership Whitepaper, this paper can be purchased from my website.