April 11, 2008

Book Review - Secret Language of Leadership

The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action through Narrative
Stephen Denning
HD 57.7 .D49 2007

In this sequel to the Leader's Guide to Storytelling, Denning asserts that effective leaders use hidden patterns of communication. He introduces the concept of "narrative intelligence," which he defines as the ability to understand, act, and communicate effectively in the fast-paced world of interacting and often conflicting priorities. The book opens with an autobiographical essay in which Denning shows himself to be a change agent and proponent of knowledge sharing. Both of these roles, he argues, require superior communication skills. In the first of two main sections of his book, he outlines language and listening skills and techniques that enable leadership. In the second, he outlines key steps that are required in the communication process, from starting a conversation to keeping discussion going. Because the only constant in the world is change, this book is essential for any leader that wants to contribute positively and be effective.