1. They’ve been there, done that ... and still do that.
No matter what they may have accomplished in the past, the Heads of Comms who really stand out are never too good to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in with the team. No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring. If the Head of Comms is humble and modest, it means no one feels entitled to anything but the fruits of their hard work.
2. They’ve built a team culture that’s admired.
Heads of Comms are only as effective as the people around them. By making teamwork one of the core company values, and putting a clear emphasis on self-managing teams that are empowered to make their own decisions, a remarkable amount of energy and creativity can be released. The truly outstanding Heads of Comms don’t just talk about teamwork – they take an active part in it. They make a focused effort to get to know each member of the team and understand their core values. They show the team the seriousness of their commitment by giving them the authority to get their jobs done on their own terms, while ensuring they accept responsibility for the results. And they don’t forget to have fun along the way.
3. They wear their emotions on their sleeves.
Good Heads of Comms are professional. Superstar ones are highly professional too, yet also openly human. They show sincere excitement when things go well. They don’t hold back from showing their appreciation for hard work and extra effort. They like to celebrate success. They also get frustrated, they worry and sometimes they get angry. In short, they’re human and they are not afraid to acknowledge it. Professionalism is admirable. Professionalism with a healthy blend of humanity is inspiring – and memorable.
4. They lead by permission, not authority.
Yes, ‘Head of Communications’ is an impressive title to bear. It gives the right to direct others, to make decisions, to organise, to instruct and to discipline. But employees are not motivated by a title; they are inspired by the person – particularly when that person exudes passion, drive and knowledge. The words and actions of a superstar Head of Comms create a work environment in which the team works with and not for that Head of Comms.
5. They have a larger purpose.
A good Head of Comms works to achieve company goals. A memorable one also works to achieve company goals, but on top of this works to serve a larger purpose: to advance the careers of employees, to instill a sense of pride and self-worth in others while throwing themselves into continued learning to better their own skills. They aren’t just remembered for nuts and bolts achievements but for helping others on a personal and individual level. They know that business is personal and that success is a journey. They may be in a senior level role, but there is always more to learn to back up their expertise and maintain the edge that makes them stand out in a crowd.
What do you think are the qualities that make a superstar Head of Comms?
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