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The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative
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The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  89 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The book introduces the concept of narrative intelligence--an ability to understand and act and react agilely in the quicksilver world of interacting narratives. It shows why this is key to the central task of leadership, what its dimensions are, and how you can measure it. The book's lucid explanations, vivid examples and practical tips are essential reading for CEOs, man ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 7th 2011 by Jossey-Bass (first published October 1st 2007)
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Robert
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What we have in Denning’s latest and most valuable book is his development in much greater depth of information and insights he previously introduced in The Springboard, Squirrel, Inc., and The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling. He also shares his thoughts about other dimensions of transformational leadership because he realized that “narrative wasn’t the whole story. The secrets of leadership lay not only in the stories that were being told but also in the way the leadership goals themselves were ...more
Agile Kindergarten
I totally agree with Denning’s core message that effective leaders have “narrative intelligence,” which taps into our innate and emotional attachment to stories. My favorite take-away is Denning’s articulation of a way to leverage confirmation bias. Instead of building an argument with reasons that culminate in a proposal, start with a story that engages the audience emotionally. Take the time to put them in the story in a role where they can see themselves succeeding. Then present reasons. Denn ...more
E
Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leading with a passion

This isn’t just another book about how to become a better manager; it’s about how to use language to become an “inspirational leader” who can bring about transformation and lasting change. Stephen Denning explains that transformational leadership is not the sole providence of an extraordinary few. Anyone with enough vision, commitment and grit to master a basic set of skills that he calls the “language of transformational leadership” can become a leader who creates change.
...more
Rangi Robinson
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main message of this book is that you shouldn't try to convince people of things with logic and reasoning but rather use stories to grab attention and stimulate desire before finally reinforcing with reasoning. He describes some interesting experiments demonstrating that trying to use reasoning to convince people of things simply makes them cling even more tightly to their original views. He also discusses the general approach for forming effective stories and what sorts of stories should be ...more
Henrik
May 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
It's an interesting book, with some valuable information. However, I find that the quality varies strongly from chapter to chapter. Some you can read effortlessly, and others are so hard to read I can read them twice and still not know whether I got the message or not.

Overall the book doesn't present something new and revolutionary, and does definitively not teach you any secret language. It does, however, competently take you through how to make your message stronger and more convincing through
...more
Graeme Mcliesh
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have found many books on leadership focus on the personal qualities of leadership. In contrast this book looks at the approach of leadership. This book contrasts the approach of Al Gore during his failed Presidential campaign as contrasted with his success communicating An Inconvenient Truth.

This book identifies the keys of successful leadership in terms of inspiration through narrative. It is an approach I find both inspiring and thought provoking. I strongly recommend this book.
Nick
May 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Denning creates a straw man of the way business people typically communicate: analyze a problem logically, then give a solution. If only business people were actually so logical! Then, he offers a better alternative: get attention, create desire, satisfy the desire. But this is the ancient Greek rhetorical method! It has been around for a couple thousand years! How could it still be 'the secret language of leadership'? Aaarrgh.
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