Before I tell you what the language of leadership is, we need to step back a bit. The words leaders choose to use are simply the final articulation of the ideas and convictions they have defined and want to share with others.

Diagram shows three steps of thinking like a leader. The steps are, “1. Adopt the leader's mindset,” “2. Script yourself as a leader,” and “3. Use the language of leadership.”

Figure 7.1 Three Steps to Thinking Like a Leader.

Think of it this way: if you are going to build a house, you will need tools. But before you can decide which tools to buy, you first need to think about whom the house is for and what your vision for the house is. Once you've defined those two things, you can create a construction plan. Only then should you buy your tools.

The words you will use are like those tools. Choosing words too soon is pointless. That's why people decry those who “just open their mouths and start speaking” or who “seem to talk a lot but say very little.” We value substance and precision in those we listen to.

That's why the most inspirational leaders get their thinking clear first; once they have that clarity of thought they are well-positioned to choose the words that will most effectively convey their ideas.


Getting your thinking clear starts with adopting the right mindset (step 1 in the three-step process pictured in Figure 7.1). You are reading this book because you want to influence, motivate, and inspire others – that is why you ...

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