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Leading Leaders by Jeswald W. Salacuse

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CHAPTER 3

THE ART OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP CONVERSATION

Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow.

—WALT WHITMAN

THE GREAT AMERICAN POET Walt Whitman understood that persuasive communication—what he called ‘‘the right voice’’—is fundamental to effective leadership. In stressing that a potential leader had to speak to him (and not just to the world at large) in the right voice, Whitman also underscored the importance of shaping leadership communications to meet the concerns, interests, and styles of the particular persons that a leader wants to lead.

The Game of Strategic Conversation

Much of the work of leading leaders takes place in conversations. Conversations of course have many purposes and functions. The aim ...

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