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Leading Through Language: Choosing Words That Influence and Inspire

ISBN: 978-1-119-08771-7
256 pages
December 2015
Leading Through Language: Choosing Words That Influence and Inspire (1119087716) cover image


Become a more effective leader—cut the jargon and say what you mean

Leveraging. Strategizing. Opening the kimono. Unlocking human capital. Trying to nail that BHAG. All on a go forward basis. These are only a few examples of the jargon-ridden language that is too often the mainstay of business communication. Jargon frustrates, confuses, and generally alienates listeners. Yet it's also everywhere, and using it can often seem like a mandatory requirement for anyone who wants to establish credibility in a professional workplace.

To be an effective leader, you must be brave enough to be the first to drop jargon in favor of simple, coherent language. This can be difficult if you've spent years immersed in business culture, but Leading Through Language will show just how much you've come to rely on jargon, why it's holding you back, and how to trim it away to more effectively convey information and ideas.

  • Understand why jargon is reviled, yet ubiquitous
  • Learn why "business speak" gets in the way of business
  • Discover what kind of language influences and inspires others
  • Convey ideas with clarity, energy, and conviction
  • Approach all communication as an act of leadership

Communication often falls by the wayside in favor of more measurable data-backed performance metrics; but good communication has the power to improve metrics in every area of an organization. Leading Through Language is the business world's much-needed guide to true leadership communication, showing you how to eliminate idle talk and master compelling communication.

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Table of Contents



Part I The Many Faces of Jargon

Introduction to Part 1: Why Does Jargon Exist and Why Should Leaders Care? 1

Chapter 1 You Must Start with Leadership 11

Chapter 2 The (Few) Benefits of Jargon 19

Chapter 3 Assumption-Based Jargon 29

Chapter 4 Inflation Jargon 43

Chapter 5 Lack-of-Clarity Jargon 55

Chapter 6 Obfuscation Jargon 67

Part II Use the Language of Leadership

Introduction to Part 2: Use the Language of Leadership 77

Chapter 7 Adopt the Leader’s Mindset 83

Chapter 8 Script Yourself as a Leader 91

Chapter 9 Use the Language of Leadership 101

Chapter 10 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Visionary 109

Chapter 11 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Audience-Centric 117

Chapter 12 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Jargon-Free 129

Chapter 13 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Authentic 139

Chapter 14 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Passionate 147

Chapter 15 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Confident 157

Chapter 16 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Positive 167

Chapter 17 The Language of Leadership Is ...Direct 177

Chapter 18 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Concise 187

Chapter 19 The Language of Leadership Is . . . Professional 197

Chapter 20 The Language of Leadership Uses . . . Rhetoric 207




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Author Information

BART EGNAL is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Humphrey Group, a global firm focused on building leadership communication skills. Egnal has spent over a decade working with senior executives and their teams to help them speak as influential, inspirational leaders. He helps individuals and organizations define and communicate ideas that lead to business results. He contributes to leading publications such as The Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail and PROFIT Magazine.

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