Leadership / Management

Good leaders just won’t shut up

Gobillot Anyone who thinks talk is cheap has never met Emmanuel Gobillot.

An author, consultant and one of Europe's most sought-after leadership speakers, Gobillot examines leadership in the context of today's social movement, and he has reached a thought-provoking conclusion:

The most important weapon in today's leadership arsenal just might be conversation.

"We can't accomplish anything without conversation," Gobillot told the crowd at the 2010 DigitalNow conference at Disney World in Orlando. "Narratives are one of the most important leadership tools we have."

According to Gobillot, many leaders are doomed to fail because they don't pause long enough to notice the monumental changes going on around them. They're working so hard on now that they can't see tomorrow speeding toward them.

That reminded me of an earlier DigitalNow nugget of wisdom dropped by futurist Andrew Zolli: Great leaders scan the horizon for weak signals from the coming disruptive forces.

Once those signals are detected, the conversations should begin.

"Engaged people will do whatever it takes to get the job done," Gobillot said. "Engagement comes from conversation about the task at hand. Those conversations lead to dreams of what could be, which leads to talk of what must be done."

In a DigitalNow tweet, fellow conference attendee Robert Rich described that idea as "dream, design, destiny" -- a formula for inspiring people to work toward goals.

According to Gobillot, we can begin to measure that inspiration by asking ourselves one question: Has this conversation made my team feel stronger and more capable?

"Did you ever notice that when you're here at Disney World, you can't help but smile?" he said. "... Make your people as excited as you are. If you do that, you've got a Disney on your hands."

Are you having those inspiring conversations with your colleagues? Let us know, then check out more thought-provoking content from DigitalNow.


Bill Sheridan