Selected in 2000 as one of the world’s ten most admired knowledge leader, Steve Denning is an award winner for the books Â«The secret language of leadershipÂ» and Â«the leader’s guide to storytellingÂ».
He studied law and psychology in Sydney University and then went to Oxford in the UK for a law postgraduate degree.
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He worked in organization in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia and was until 2000 the program director Knowledge Management at the World Bank.
In the book the Secret Language of Leadership, the steps that have to be achieved to become a successful leader are to get the attention, to stimulate desire, to reinforce the reason and to continue the conversation. To reach those, a leader has to use six enablers that will be describing in our analysis of the language of Leadership: key enablers.
rticulating a clear, inspiring goal
Stephen Denning starts his explanation of the key enablers of the language of Leadership by a quote o George Bernard Shaw:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
This quote shows us the importance we give on the recognition of the actions we can do or the goal we can reach.
We will now analyze how important it is to articulate a clear, inspiring goal.
Stephen Denning illustrate the chapter, Articulating a clear, inspiring goal, of his book; with the example of the company Apple.
Steve Jobs the creator of Apple had created chaos in his company because even if he is a brilliant person he was not an inexperience chairman. A new CEO took his place in 1983, John Sculley, who was a star manager of other big companies as Pepsi. Even if Sculley did a good job on stabilizing the corporation and rationnalized the products, the Apple staff was no supporting him. Sculley wanted to implement a shift in Apple life by producing low cost computers like Dell, but the staff was not interested in becoming just another computer company. They wanted to follow Steve Job’s goal of creating cool, innovative electronic products, a purpose that for themselves was worthwhile in itself. John Sculley was forced out in 1993, his instrumental goals were not embraced and he was not successful on inspiring Apple staff to pursue new goals energetically and enthusiastically.
What the staff wanted was to pursue Apple original purpose, which was more seductive for them as they came into this company for those values.
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