The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative

Reading is fun. But not every book is really worth reading it – especially when it comes to business books. Therefore I already started the “Book of the Week” Series, where I share comprehensive abstracts on my favourite books.

Now I want to start another series called: “Business Books” – featuring information on books in a more compact way. Today I would like to present you “The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative”, by Stephen Denning (2007).

The Secret Language of Leadership shows leaders how they can hold people’s attention, stimulate desire, and support messages with reason by learning the principles of leadership communication. The power to communicate a complex idea that can spark transformational change is a key characteristic of a good leader. Generating enduring enthusiasm through compelling storytelling, while not a new concept, is re-surfacing as a way to encourage people to embrace new ideas and change in an environment where people may lack hierarchical authority, or in one where leaders face cynical, skeptical, and even hostile audiences.

In The Secret Language of Leadership, author Stephen Denning shows how anyone can create their own moral authority and then set out to inspire others to work together toward a specific goal. Leaders can hold people’s attention by learning the principles of leadership communication, through a combination of storytelling, logic, and reason. Using the techniques and tools examined in this book, anyone who wants to make transformational change can use The Secret Language of Leadership to instill power and inspiration in others.

Transformational leadership involves changing the world by generating ongoing enthusiasm for a common cause. Not only must transformational leaders communicate complex ideas, but they need to inspire others to jump into enthusiastic action. Successful leaders use The Secret Language of Leadership to get attention, stimulate desire, and reinforce with reasons. When the language of leadership is deployed in that order, it can help leaders spark change. Ultimately, learning and using the language of leadership can have an extraordinary impact and is the driver for transformational change. Understanding the principles, patterns, and sequences of language simplifies making changes – even small ones – to the way messages are communicated.

This use of narrative intelligence helps communicate information quickly, simply, and meaningfully, so that listeners can re-imagine and re-create the future. The language of leadership can empower anyone to operate more effectively and change the world for the better.


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