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The Most Important Words in Leadership

I’ve long believed that the most important leadership skill is communications. And, I believe there are the most important words every leader needs to know.

A good leader knows how to lead, to motivate, to inspire, to correct, to justify, to challenge … to name just a few. Part of the way they do what they need to do is by communicating in ways which foster exchange, increase collaboration and demonstrate good role models.

This is one of the oldest lists I have things I have – from the American Marketing Assoication, dated 1979 – but I also remember a variation of this list by UK leadership expert John Adair.

Words for Every Leader

The six most important words:  I admit I made a mistake.

The five most important words:  You did a good job.

The four most important words:  What is your opinion?

The three most important words:  If you please.

The two most important words:  Thank you.

The one most important word:  We

The least important word:  I 

Stapled to the same article was this quote, from Stephen Covey.  You can’t talk your way out of something that you behaved your way into.

Anything to add?  What words do you think every leader ought to know?  Please add your comments and thoughts below.

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The Most Important Words in Leadership