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The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.Lee Iacocca

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Leadership Is Language

Leadership Is Language

Develop your leadership by working on your language skills.

Author(s): L. David Marquet

Publisher: Portfolio Penguin

Date of publication: 2020

Buy this book [amazon.com]


Do your staff members feel sufficient trust to sound the alert on critical issues? Do they feel authorized to talk when, for example, your instructions are inapplicable or based on erroneous information? According to most books and articles addressing these questions, it would foremost be a question of style of leadership. Faced with an authoritarian or collaborative management, the expression of the teams would be more or less easy.

This book addresses the topic with a different angle: this of language. According to the author, the words that we use, the way we turn our phrases, the manner in which we formulate our questions, have an essential effect. This book relies on the personal experience of the author, former commander of nuclear submarine USS Santa Fe. He explains how successive incidents made him become aware of the risks associated to too directive a language. His officers and he had thus worked on more open forms of dialogue, favoring questioning over imperative forms and assertions of certainties. With, at stake, visible gains in terms of problem analysis and resolution, but also in risk management aboard the ship.

A testimonial all the more interesting that it comes from a leader operating in a highly constrained environment, generally strongly hierarchized.