Inspiring others is one of the most crucial and desired aspects of a good leader today. While we have learned a great deal about the necessity of strategic vision and effective leadership in our communities and world in general, we have overlooked the critical link between vision and the leader’s ability to powerfully communicate its essence.
In the future, leaders will not only have to be effective strategists but rhetoricians who can energize through the words they choose. The era of managing by tyrannizing others is ending and is being replaced by an era of managing by inspiration.
Foremost among the new leadership skills demanded of this era will be the ability to craft and articulate a message that is highly motivational. Unfortunately, it seems that few leaders and boards today possess such skills. To make matters worse, our culture and educational system may even discourage these skills.
From the recent attention that the subject of leadership has received, we know that one critical role of effective leaders is to be skillful craftsmen of their organization’s mission. We also know that of equal importance is the ability to communicate their missions in ways that generate great intrinsic appeal.
A leader must not only be able to detect opportunities in the environment but also describe them in ways that maximise their significance
A leader must not only be able to detect opportunities in the environment but also describe them in ways that maximize their significance. This ability to describe is captured by the simple story of two stonemasons who, while working on the same project, were asked what they were doing.
The first replied: “I am cutting stone;” the second: “I am building a great cathedral.” The latter was able to describe his work in a more far-reaching and meaningful way. Work for him had a higher purpose.
Leadership today must embody this same ability the capacity to articulate an organization’s mission and communicate it in ways that inspire. Sadly, however, this capacity depends upon skills that have been largely neglected by the mentors and trainers.
Why the neglect of such important abilities?
In part, it is because our organization’s language confines itself to more rational, logical approaches. There is a tendency to avoid emotional mentorship expressiveness for instance. The emphasis instead has been on more static presentation skills often using charts to convey ideas.
Mentors and trainers’ tone and messages convey only a limited range of energy and emotional mentorship. The very concept of a leader as a rhetorician and inspiring speaker seems a radical departure from these conventions of most people’s behavior.
Most leaders out there have only recently begun to highlight the important link between language and leadership. Yet the world around us has changed radically. The ability to transform an organization by tyrannize is a way of the past.
A more educated, more intrinsically motivated organization demands that leaders recast their image more in the light of an effective leader. They must learn to sell themselves and their missions to ‘stump’ for their cause and this depends on highly effective language skills.
Author: Robin Mugerwa
As a founder of Pearl Generation Uganda, (PG-UG) Innocent, has a profound interest in youth mentorship and leadership. He devotes himself to helping young people around the world achieve their dreams. He has also worked with many different organizations such as the Community Resource Development Initiative, Del Youth Group, Reference Health Service Uganda and Rincol Tech.
Solutions LTD and I-Profile Foundation