Monday, July 15, 2013

Communication as the Most Immediate Road to Leadership

People often ask me for tricks and tips to be a more polished presenter.  It's the wrong question.  The right question is how can I adjust what I say and how I say it to be a leader?

Leadership has become a buzz word, and like the word "awesome," the loss of its original meaning will be felt.  There really is no other word that can express the same idea.

Leadership is the essential, unspoken goal of every act of communication when you're trying to persuade.  In fact, Mark Pagel believes that the power of language is not just learned but also genetic.  No wonder a little bit of practice and the right feedback can make a weak speaker into a commanding one.

The only indisputable measure of leadership (and to that end, great speaking) is the number and calibre of people who follow. 

As an aside, this is one reason for which corporate departments' claims of "Thought Leadership" seem rather flimsily conceived.  The term they're looking for is "business insight".  Claiming leadership before the insight is tested in the market is just a bluff.

However, if you want to see how leadership is done through public speaking, take a look at Malala's talk at the UN.

To decide whether you agree or not, here's the question: would you disagree with what she says?  Is your faith in what's possible invigorated?  Would you follow her?

And she's just 16.

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