In The Words Of A Leader

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Words are important. We use words to communicate with our friends, to conduct business, to discipline our children. Politicians use words to convince us who they are and why they are the best candidates for the job.

The average person speaks about 16,000 words a day, which comes to about 112,000 words a week—more than five million words a year.

Words are powerful tools for leadership, but they must be used well. A leader’s words can inspire or hurt, cause laughter or tears, encourage or cut down.

How can you best use your words? Here are some checkpoints.

To make deep connections. Connecting is not about how close you get, or how long you have known each other it is about understanding. The words we speak and hear bridge the gaps between us.

To be thoughtful. Think before you speak and use your words sparingly. Leading does not mean that you are required to talk more than anyone else. Quite the opposite.

To listen more than you speak. Be a leader who has a listening ear; that’s how you learn.

To ask questions. The more you know the less you realize you know. For the best leaders, knowledge means having the right answer but intelligence means asking the right questions. Smart questions are the source of smart leadership.

To speak from the heart. We can be accurately judged by our words because they are an accurate reflection of what is happening within our hearts. True leaders don’t let their mouth speak what their heart does not feel.

To match body language. Make certain that your words and your body language are aligned. Communication is how we make connections, and studies have shown that that people believe body language over the words.

To empower and encourage. The right words can give wings to the mind and make us feel like we can fly. Take the time to empower your people. Speak with encouragement and affirm your appreciation.

For courageous conversations. Don’t be afraid of tough conversations, whether they’re about performance or character. Be brave and speak the reality. Keep your focus on behaviors and keep the behaviors linked to the values of the business.

To build trust. “Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes. Hold yourself accountable for your words.

To be remembered. Choose your words carefully—they are like weapons that can either be used against you or for you. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven but not forgotten.

We should watch our thoughts because they become words, and we should watch our words because they become actions, we should watch our actions because they become habits, we should watch our habits because they become character, and we should watch our character for it becomes destiny.

Lead From Within: Choose your words carefully, because a single word can change a life forever and a true leader knows that.


N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Additional Reading:

At The Risk Of Being Changed

• The Power Of Parting: 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing 

Lead From Where You Are And With All That You 

The Wisdom Of Whole Hearted Leading

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.

14 Responses to “In The Words Of A Leader”

  1. Marco Dannerhill

    27. Oct, 2015

    I recently challenged you through another comment to one of your posts on LinkedIn, questioning the importance of words. As a true professional your response is this great article and you have me fully convinced. The way you describe it words are truly very important. Thanks for setting me straight.

    Reply to this comment
  2. shandyamaze

    28. Oct, 2015

    Hi Lolly,

    Good day!

    A great article to read. your words of wisdom has helped me and your followers improve our crafts being leaders. you always feed my soul. you never failed me.

    I will definitely apply what I have learned from your post today.

    I wish you more power and looking forward for your next article.

    Have a great day!

    Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Susan Mary Malone

    28. Oct, 2015

    Ah, one of my favorite subjects, Lolly. Of course, as an author, words are vital to almost every aspect of my life 🙂

    I just love: “Connecting is not about how close you get, or how long you have known each other it is about understanding.”
    The essence of it all.
    Thank You.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Naomi Dinsmore

    31. Oct, 2015

    Hi Lolly,

    To match body language is one aspect that I have never thought of. But I have been thinking lot about my own body language recently. I’m more more aware it and know it speaks volumes!

    Great article.



    Reply to this comment
  5. JohnPaul

    31. Oct, 2015

    Thank you, Lolly. Words are indeed very powerful and so easy to misinterpret. Therefore, we must use them carefully in order to connect and bridge the gaps.

    I find that a desire to understand others, a genuine respect for others, and compassion provide a good framework for channeling our words.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Rana

    01. Nov, 2015

    It’s just amazing how you come out so profoundly on all issues, keep looking forward to your writings

    Reply to this comment
  7. Anisa Menza

    09. Nov, 2015

    Lolly you are amazing its true that if worgds aren’t chosen properly they may deposit a totally wrong information hence wrong approaches or conflicts may arise. Non verbal are even worse of all, they are misinterpreted otherwise.Thx for the empowerment.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Vatan Veer Singh

    15. Nov, 2015

    Hi Lolly,

    I feel nervous whenever I write comments. But I must say this is the best article to know how important words are to make trustable conversation.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Imran Ali Rathore

    04. Jan, 2016

    Nicely organized and written!

    Reply to this comment


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