Shakespeare once said, “All the world's a stage.” He could have been talking about the corporate world, where you are always on stage – whether you like it or not! And like the actors who rehearse their lines and take the stage in Hamlet, you too are playing a part, complete with scripts of your own.

No actor would go on stage without learning their lines, and no leader worth their salt shows up at a meeting or at a Q&A without knowing their scripts. Although leaders are not usually handed written scripts (that is, unless they have full-time speech writers), the most effective individuals organize their thinking so they can inspire listeners when they do speak.

In the last chapter we examined how to develop a leader's mindset. In this chapter we look at the next step in speaking as a leader – organizing what you wish to say to others. This is a crucial step and requires hard work. If you want your audience to hear and act upon your ideas, they must be well thought out and compelling not only to your listeners but also to you.

The most effective way to organize your thoughts is by scripting yourself (Figure 8.1).

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 8.1 Three Steps to Thinking Like a Leader.

What is a script? It is a well-defined set of ideas that you can articulate to others. Leaders are always scripting themselves. They know that in some instances – formal presentations, ...

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