What Dolly Parton teaches us about internal communications

Internal communications - Dolly Parton's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
As a Dolly Parton fan, it's hard not to appreciate her wit, charm, and business acumen. She’s a singer, songwriter, movie star, philanthropist, and owner of a theme park with eight roller coasters and four water rides. Her music is not only inspiring but also filled with valuable lessons that can be applied to internal communications. 

Here are some of Dolly’s quotes that can help you connect the dots between her experiences and valuable business lessons.

“I think everybody has the right to be who they are.”

Be authentic: The foundation of any successful internal communications strategy is authenticity. Being genuine and sincere with your employees creates trust and fosters a culture of openness.

Internal communications - collection of male employees jumping at once

It’s her authenticity that endears Dolly to the world. There’s nothing fake or curated about her. She is who she is and lives her life unapologetically. She talks openly about her wigs, her cosmetic surgery, her glamour, and her false eyelashes.

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!”

Embrace challenges: As with life, internal communications is full of ups and downs. Accepting the challenges that come your way and finding solutions is essential to your success.

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

Take control: Internal communications professionals often face many obstacles in their path. However, it is essential to take control and make the necessary changes to improve communication within the organization.

“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”

Take risks: A successful internal communications strategy involves taking calculated risks. Don’t be afraid to try new things and test different approaches.

“I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else.”

Be versatile: Internal communications is not one-size-fits-all. It’s important to be adaptable and open to new ideas and approaches to best communicate with your employees.

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

Be agile: Internal communications strategies are often affected by external factors that are out of your control. Being agile and adaptable to changes is essential to ensuring your message is effectively delivered.

Internal communications - professional motorcycle racer rounding a corner

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”

Learn from adversity: Adversity can be challenging, but it can also provide opportunities for growth. Learning from past challenges can help strengthen internal communications and improve processes.

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.”

Inspire others: As an internal communications professional, your role is to inspire and motivate your employees. Your actions and words can have a significant impact on the success of the organization.

If you’re in a leadership or management role, you know how tricky it can be to lead others. But when you lead by example, you understand your impact on others and the world around you. 

Dolly has a reputation for being the ultimate professional and a trusted leader. There are countless stories of her professionalism. In addition to being one of music’s biggest icons, she runs a production company, owns a theme park, wrote a Broadway musical, lends her time and talents to raising money for those in need, and has given away more than 100 million free books to children. Dolly walks the walk, and her entire legacy is a representation of her values and her heart.

Her music is not only entertaining but also filled with valuable lessons that can be applied to internal communications. Being authentic, embracing challenges, taking control, taking risks, being versatile, being agile, learning from adversity, and inspiring others are all essential elements of a successful internal communications strategy. 

By following these lessons, you can build a strong foundation for communication within your organization and achieve success—and we’d love to help you on your journey. Reach out, and we’ll show you some options to get started today!

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