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Leaders Say What Needs to Be Said

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Leaders Say What Needs to Be Said, By Greg Richardson

There are times when we want our leaders to speak for us. We expect leaders to be insightful and articulate, to know what to say and to say it well. There are leaders from history whose words still speak to us, and for us.

We hope our leaders will be able to put ideas and feelings into words even when we do not know what to say.

There are times when we want our leaders to listen, not to speak at all.

Some leaders speak nonfiction, giving us facts and figures, explaining and helping us make sense of things. Some leaders are poets or artists, taking us deeper, helping us see the far horizon.

The leaders who inspire me find the balance. They reach out, touching the edges of our hearts and minds. They combine the words and the silences that help us understand.

Some people tell me they think I am an extrovert practicing to become an introvert. My tendency is to put things into words I can share. I am learning to listen.

Some people act as if they must fill every silence, fit words into any empty moment they find. They have plenty of words, but they may not be what needs to be said. The words leaders need to say grow out of silence.

The leaders who inspire me learn, and remember, they are not saying words they need to say, but words others need to hear.

We live in a world filled with words, many of which seem unnecessary. Leaders find the right words at the right time.

Who are the leaders you trust to say what needs to be said?

What do you need to say today?

[Image by Horia Varlan]