Last Tuesday David Moyes got sacked from Manchester United after 10 months in charge of the team; it was on every newspaper in the UK and Ireland. After reading a few articles from different publications I found an interesting common denominator. Most authors criticised not only the poor results, but also the language he used. According to most newspapers, the way he expressed things was a sign of his weakness as a leader. Phrases like “we’re going to try our best” were perceived as a sign that the job was too big for him. It turned out to be true.
Leaders need what I call “binary language”. What this means, in essence, is removing any ambiguity, uncertainty and doubt from their words. Things have to be on or off. Black or white, not grey.
That’s because a leader’s job is to define vision. And a vision needs to be clear…
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