by Paul Casey

“!Punctuated Leadership?”

Whether you like grammar or not, these “end-marks” can be metaphors for what effective leadership looks like.

Question mark      Leaders start with questions. Instead of being know-it-alls who like to hear the sound of their own voice, they are curious to get to know their people and where the focus of their attention needs to be.

Comma     Leaders pause to consider. Without inserting a pause between stimulus and their response, ineffective leaders often react without proper reflection to consider all the options, consult other wise leaders, and make a calculated decision–on how they use their own time or what they direct for their people to pursue.

Period     Leaders nail down decisions. A leader who never pulls the trigger frustrates his/her people, who are in limbo, waiting to move forward. Effective leaders declare the vision, the strategic plan to get there, and other key actions that align with it.

Exclamation point      Leaders promote the vision and the values. Some things are non-negotiable in an organization/team, and those core priorities must be shared regularly and passionately by its leader through varied communiques. This keeps the organization’s WHY at the forefront of employees’ minds and hearts.

Quotation marks     Leaders speak encouragement. The stresses of life/work often naturally pull morale down, and it takes an inspirational leader to use his/her words to lift their people with compliments/gratitude/recognition.

Have fun and pick another punctuation mark on your keyboard, and connect a leadership behavior to it. Let’s grow this list, and grow our leadership together!

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