Leadership communication coach Joel Schwartzberg has a new book out, and like any solid leadership advice tome its title reflects its overall stylistic approach: clear, concise, and to a certain extent a full summary of its contents, and its conclusions. But what really sets the book, titled The Language of Leadership: How to Engage and Inspire Your Team, apart is how Schwartzberg offers a decidedly empathetic angle. He’s not holding your hand proverbially so to speak, but he never lets conciseness equate to a brusk intonation. Rather, there’s a certain kind of friendly mentor approach to how Schwartzberg leads the reader through four, distinctive categories that he christens to be ideal, leadership communicative techniques.
“Keep in mind that while subject matter experts are qualified to share content, only leaders have the official job of inspiring a team through clear and succinct expressions of hope, vision, context, purpose, drive, appreciation, impact, aspiration, empathy, and the ‘why’,” he writes. Such a philosophy is reflective of the collectivized approach replacing traditionalist hierarchy within the workforce. But Schwartzberg makes everything click literarily for the reader by not only highlighting this in a specified, example-laden manner, but also by the virtue of his emotive generosity within the language and word choices themselves. He never talks down to the reader, but isn’t afraid to take a healthily paternalistic, data and analogy-backed focus on certain presentational facets easily lost on a core, visceral level. There’s a fine line between becoming overtly emotional in an attempt to educate, and alienating the widest possible audience by virtue of a sort of exclusionary conceptual design. Schwartzberg proves that as field-specific as certain facets of his leadership philosophy may be, this is something across the board – in both personal and professional milieus – that can serve the reader well to master.
Schwartzberg writes that any great leader is, at heart, a great storyteller informally. There’s a sense of evocation required, coupled with a healthy dose of empathy to the choir preached. “The importance of storytelling in communications is no secret. The concept is promoted frequently in books, conferences, articles, seminars, and podcasts. We’ve come to the point where if you’re not telling a story, you should reconsider speaking,” he highlights. “Storytelling is indeed a uniquely useful communication tool because humans are naturally attracted to narratives—whether it’s an intriguing novel or an illuminating moment—so leaders always benefit from including stories and case studies in their communications.” Again, this is reflective of concepts populating a growing trend across the country. But, also again, Schwartzberg bucks any contrast because of the way he articulates this.
The fact is he doesn’t shroud the obvious in semantics and instead communicates clearly what the obvious entails. Ultimately, he states, good leadership is fairly easy to master. You just need to know the rules of the game, and that is where certain complications can arise. Schwartzberg seems less interested in his book being a how-to, rather complimenting the reader’s intelligence by making it a roadmap. While the presentational rules can be subjective from the specificity of enterprise to enterprise, the cruxes are universal. Schwartzberg is smart enough to pinpoint this comprehensibly, and even better – to state it simply as such…