• The Language of Leaders

    by  • February 12, 2012 • Human Resources, Leadership, Life, Strategy

    learnleadI have to be honest. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy Kevin Murray’s new book on how top CEOs communicate to inspire, influence and achieve results. Although Mr. Murray’s arresting title raised my curiosity, I became skeptical when I read the list of leaders he interviewed for insight. The 60 interviewees, all from the UK, were comprised of eight Sirs, four Lords, four Dames, one Lady, and a Baroness, but not one person was under the age of 40, and the majority were over 60. I couldn’t help wonder how this seemingly pompous club of elites could possibly empathize with the hundreds of thousands of hard-working “commoners” in their factories, offices and warehouses. With such a massive impact made by so many young entrepreneurs, I had doubts today’s business generation would benefit from the reflections of old guard, old economy leaders. I was wrong.

    Mr. Murray has offered up far more than he promised. In an easy to read story-telling fashion, the author sticks to his main topic – but in very short order, he identifies the critical issues leaders should be communicating and why. To excel as communicators, leaders must understand their strengths and their weaknesses and be clear about the beliefs that underpin those identified strengths. Then they must figure out their sense of purpose. Once accomplished, the leader can talk from the heart.

    Leaders and aspiring leaders need not be dissuaded by my original misconception on the source of Mr. Murray’s content. The book comes together beautifully in a well written exposé of the importance of leadership. Here is a summary of Kevin Murray’s leadership communication fundamentals:

    1.   Learn to be yourself, better.

    2.   Provide a framework for leadership and action, through mission and values.

    3.   Communicate the future to drive the present.

    4.   Bring the outside in and focus on relationships and trust.

    5.   Engage and align through potent conversations.

    6.   Remember it’s all about them – the need for audience centricity.

    7.   Give them a damn good listening to – the inspiring effect of listening leaders.

    8.   Stand up to stand out – you need a point of view.

    9.   Use the power of stories as the superglue of messages.

    10.  Watch out for the signals beyond the words.

    11.  Prepare properly for public platforms – speeches, media and crisis handling.

    12.  Learn, rehearse, review and constantly improve.

    For more information: http://www.languageofleadersbook.com/

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    Formerlife: Jacobs Suchard CEO (Kraft, Nabob), Strategy Consultant. Afterlife: Palgrave Macmillan Author, Historical Novelist, Business Journalist

    2 Responses to The Language of Leaders

    1. April 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks for calling my attention to this book. I would have missed it otherwise. I link to your blog in my post:

    2. John
      April 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Yep, it’s a quick read, but with all the right stuff. Thanks for the comment, Jeff.