Words matter and leaders change the world which makes the language of leadership one of the most important points of discussion happening today, according to Charles Day, founder of agency consultancy The Lookinglass.
Day, who’s fond of buzzwords and motivational messaging, outlined his five planks of leadership for senior-level executives today during his presentation at the 4As Agency Communications Summit 2018 in New York City.
“Leaders need to say what they believe out loud. I am always struck by when leaders don't speak out when given opportunity or when they say something different each time,” says Day. “People will always bring their preconceived perceptions, so if you don't define yourself, someone else will. You never know who might be listening."
Also, says Day, it is critical to effectively state a mission. “Purpose gives you context and the difference you want to make in this life,” says Day. “A leader without followers is simply someone going for a walk,” he adds.
And leaders need to speak to their strengths. They need to do things that only they are capable of accomplishing. Steve Jobs, for instance, “wasn't a warm cuddly guy. He isn't the person that talent would turn to for a good cry at work. But he was a strategic visionary.” Day recommends leaders recognize what they are and lean into those qualities with confidence.
Leaders need to declare their values, Day asserts. If you don't inspire your team, you are a merely a cog in a machine, says Day. "The best leaders are living their story."
Commitment is also a critical leadership trait. "Originality is currency," he says. People want to know what you think but this message must be steady and reliable. "Leadership flourishes when it is consistent.”