People in the business world who are highly skilled in technical disciplines may still find themselves lacking if they don't develop good communications skills, the president of Bonneville International said Thursday at Brigham Young University.
Rodney Brady, who has been chief executive officer and president of Bonneville for four years, spoke to several hundred students during a Communications Department symposium in the Harris Fine Arts Center."In the business world I have found the best engineers, the best scientists, the best accountants, and they have gained all those skills, but they have barriers that limit them from achieving their full potential. Many people fail to develop basic communications skills," he said. "(It's important to develop) the skill of being able to put yourself in the chair of another person and then being able to put that person's interests above your own."
People seldom get fired because they lack technical skill, he said. Generally, employees run into trouble because they lack human relations skills.
Men and women entering the business world should make sure they are strong in several important non-technical skill areas, Brady said. First, they must practice sound ethical judgment. "A lack of ethical soundness has gotten in the way of many people's careers," he said. Individuals and companies should prepare lists that delineate specific standards that will guide all of their decisions.
Work should be goal-oriented, too.
"Develop a drive and determination," he said. "Years and years of training can come to naught without these skills. Some people sort of drift with the organization and there are others who are pushing the organization to be better and better and better. If you're not better today than you were yesterday, the only thing that's happened is time has passed. We can all achieve essentially anything we want to achieve in life."
Brady has applied his ideas about success to the company he now heads. Bonneville, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, runs 14 television and radio stations across the United States in cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, Kansas City and Salt Lake City.
Though business seems to be booming for Bonneville, there are some serious questions facing the broadcast media in general, Brady said.
"What is the optimum number of networks, keeping in mind the fewer you have, the more resources those particular networks will have to develop high-quality programming?" he said. "I think that's something we need to give some thought to."