Leaders don't get it right all the time, which sometimes is a big let-down when the person stepping into a high-profile leadership role has widespread support as the best qualified candidate for the job. Take President Obama, for instance. Already he's had a few missteps in bumping up against variables —situations and people —beyond his control. Politics aside, his adjustments and calibrations are similar to those of all new leaders challenged with driving a change agenda.
It’s only words
And words are all I have
To take your heart away.
Bee Gees, "Words"
It is often said "Actions speak louder than words."
The implication is that words are not important. At the very least, the phrase dismisses the importance of words. Actions in a leader are important. I contend that words still have great impact. In fact, they are a form of ACTION. The leader's words ultimately are seen and heard by listeners and readers as conveying the strategic thinking of the leader.
My daughter Hannah plays volleyball. It's a significantly more complicated version of the game I remember playing in gym class. It still involves six players on each side, but once the ball is served, they move around the court in choreographed sprints that look fairly chaotic to the untrained eye.
Recently, I was pondering the hullabaloo over this photo of Nancy Pelosi wielding the Speaker's gavel while surrounded by children.
A colleague had mentioned that she'd heard this mélange of reactions to the photo:
"It made me tear up. It really touched me. It didn't feel 'engineered' or cynical, it seemed spontaneous and I believe it was."