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Improving upon the Silence

Many people in leadership roles talk too much

One of the most powerful quotes I've ever read has stuck with me for years. It's from Robert Greenleaf in his book, Servant Leadership, where he wrote, "The most difficult question to ask oneself is, 'Does what I have to say improve upon the silence?'"

The fact of the matter is that a lot of people in leadership roles talk too much. The impact of that is multi-faceted.

Leaders who talk too much:

  • Create needless churn in their organizations as folks scramble to turn their random musings into unintended actions.
  • Create a dependency in the people they lead that can look like learned helplessness.
  • Do not leave space to learn from those they lead.

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