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Inspiring Others: The Language of Leadership

Jay A. Conger
The Executive
Vol. 5, No. 1 (Feb., 1991), pp. 31-45
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164992
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Inspiring Others: The Language of Leadership
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Abstract

While we have learned a great deal about the necessity of strategic vision and effective leadership, 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 dictate 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 business leaders and managers today possess such skills. To make matters worse, our business culture and educational system may even discourage these skills. Conger examines why these skills are so critical and what the new language skills of leadership will be. He looks at how leaders through their choice of words, values, and beliefs can craft commitment and confidence in their company missions. He also explores the importance of rhetorical techniques such as stories, metaphors, and rhythm to generate excitement and enthusiasm about the leader's message.

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