Caroselli’s “The Language of Leadership” By: Dr. Marlene Caroselli Leadership is demonstrated by words or actions. A effective leader will possess excellent communication skills through the use of language. “The language of power must be used to make things happen, to coalesce people and purpose for the ultimate good of the organization.” (Caroselli 1990, 34) In the book, “The Language of Leadership”, the author Dr. Marlene Caroselli states that our language is used to communicate, whether it be verbally or non verbally (communicating with our bodies). She believes that for a person to demonstrate powerful leadership, he or she must hold the knowledge and know the power of language in the communicating process.
In her book, Caroselli describes the ventures of Lido Anthony Iacocca, and his use of his powerful language skills in becoming an astonishing leader, and Judy Columbus, with her superior knowledge of the language of entrepreneurship. “Recently, a Fortune 500 survey of top executives revealed that the quality considered most important for promotion to a position of leadership was not technical excellence, not financial knowledge, not marketing ability, but communication skill.” (Caroselli 1990, 39) l feel that this quality must be possessed by all leaders in all categories, in order for his or her corporation to function in a successful manner. If you do not posses this quality, it will be difficult to reach the other members of the organization, therefor making it difficult to succeed with the information or directions being diluted through the communication process of the organization. A effective leader must employ some control over other individuals in the corporation. People must be comfortable with using power, and show the best moral obligation toward their organizations goal, and will not use the power towards their own personal ambitions or goals.
Some of the most effective leaders carry a strong power drive. There are six different types of power, legitimate power, coercive power, expert power, charismatic power, association power, and persuasion power. Lido Anthony Iacocca demonstrates all the above power characteristics, which led to his incredible rebuilding of the Chrysler Corporation. “Almost exclusively because of Iacoca’s leadership, by 1983 Chrysler made a profit, boasted employee morale, and helped employees generate a sense of meaning in their work. He empowered them.” (Bennis and Nanus 1985, 46) He had done this all after his recent firing from the Ford Corporation.
Many of the experts said that the Chrysler Corporation was literally dead, but Iacocca was not afraid to reject the experts advice and accept his own. He refused to accept defeat, and asserted his leadership in a positive fashion. Some of his good qualities which brought him such fame and fortune was his ability to spurt out the facts, not to be afraid of what they depicted, and do the best he possibly could to improve or continue the success of the method. He was not hesitant to share his emotions with a crowd, or to inflame their emotions. He helps his employees believe in themselves. I feel this is a key function in an organizations success, if an employee cannot believe in himself, w can he believe in.
And if the employee cannot believe in himself, he will only harm the company. Iacocca once said “It’s the job of leaders to set the rules and to enforce the rules, and most important, when the rules don’t work any more, to change the rules.”(Caroselli 1990, 56) Iacocca was making a point that the goals of the company be realistic, and if there is a need for change, change should be made . Most importantly, he understands that hard work pays off. Judy Columbus is another successful business leader. In 1978, Judy Columbus set her goals to form a corporation with “dynamic people set in a competitive environment and conducting business in a spirit of affection, confidence, and trust.” (Caroselli 1990, 173) She is a Realtor who administers 19 sales associates and four office management personnel, who are all woman.
This group produces sales of over 50 million dollars. Columbus has received many leadership achievement awards, and is a lecturer and speaker on “What It Takes To Become A Leader” to various professional organizations. Columbus used and uses several of her leadership skills (language of leadership skills), in her profession, where she communicates with her employees, and when she is giving a seminar for a professional organization. Some of her effective language leadership skills are explained in the next few paragraphs. A fitting framework should be used in communicating information, the leader who is speaking should outline a skeleton on what he or she is going to talk about and fill in that skeleton as he or she is talking.
l feel this is good because listener to the information can have something to communicate it with. Columbus gains attention of her audience by using examples from the real world. For example, “when an officer at the first bank l called asked me ‘Does you husband support your venture?; l responded ‘Does your wife approve of your being a banker?'” (Caroselli 1990, 176) This is very effective, because people are interested in the real world, and not just fabricated examples. To become an effective leader you must take risks. You must not take wild, uncalculated risks however, but planned out, calculated risks, which will have a modest chance of succeeding.
The only way to climb the corporate ladder, is to take chances. If you don’t take chances, you will be left at the bottom of the ladder. Columbus feels that when asked tough questions, you should not back away, but weigh the pro’s and con’s, examine the situation, and give the answer to best suit the goals for the organization. If Columbus does this, she will benefit the organization. She also feels you must take these other factors in consideration in becoming a powerful leader who has excellent language skills, finding new challenges, developing a philosophy, and always develop a vision for the future.
Although the author did not touch on any bad points of Iacocca or Columbus, l feel that she left out a few important factors. She failed to mention that in the communicating process, the deliver of the speech should be loud, clear, and get right to the point. This is important because, a good leader should be dominating, mentally and physically. The author also failed to mention, that while communication and language skills are very important, they parallel listening skills which are also very important. The language of leadership is very important to the leader, because this is how the he or she is communicating with his or her fellow employees or employers in the organization.