Caroselli's "The Language of Leadership"


By: Dr. Marlene Caroselli

Leadership is demonstrated by words or actions. A effective leader
will possess excellent communication skills through the use of language.
"The language of power must be used to make things happen, to coalesce
people and purpose for the ultimate good of the organization." (Caroselli
1990, 34) In the book, "The Language of Leadership", the author Dr.
Marlene Caroselli states that our language is used to communicate, whether
it be verbally or non verbally (communicating with our bodies). She
believes that for a person to demonstrate powerful leadership, he or she
must hold the knowledge and know the power of language in the communicating
process. In her book, Caroselli describes the ventures of Lido Anthony
Iacocca, and his use of his powerful language skills in becoming an
astonishing leader, and Judy Columbus, with her superior knowledge of the
language of entrepreneurship.

"Recently, a Fortune 500 survey of top executives revealed that the
quality considered most important for promotion to a position of leadership
was not technical excellence, not financial knowledge, not marketing
ability, but communication skill." (Caroselli 1990, 39) l feel that this
quality must be possessed by all leaders in all categories, in order for
his or her corporation to function in a successful manner. If you do not
posses this quality, it will be difficult to reach the other members of the
organization, therefor making it difficult to succeed with the information
or directions being diluted through the communication process of the
organization.

A effective leader must employ some control over other individuals in
the corporation. People must be comfortable with using power, and show
the best moral obligation toward their organizations goal, and will not use
the power towards their own personal ambitions or goals. Some of the
most effective leaders carry a strong power drive. There are six different
types of power, legitimate power, coercive power, expert power, charismatic
power, association power, and persuasion power. Lido Anthony Iacocca
demonstrates all the above power characteristics, which led to his
incredible rebuilding of the Chrysler Corporation.

"Almost exclusively because of Iacoca's leadership, by 1983 Chrysler
made a profit, boasted employee morale, and helped employees generate a
sense of meaning in their work. He empowered them." (Bennis and Nanus
1985, 46) He had done this all after his recent firing from the Ford
Corporation. Many of the experts said that the Chrysler Corporation was
literally dead, but Iacocca was not afraid to reject the experts advice and
accept his own. He refused to accept defeat, and asserted his leadership
in a positive fashion. Some of his good qualities which brought him such
fame and fortune was his ability to spurt out the facts, not to be afraid
of what they depicted, and do the best he possibly could to improve or
continue the success of the method. He was not hesitant to share his
emotions with a crowd, or to inflame their emotions. He helps his
employees believe in themselves. I feel this is a key function in an
organizations success, if an employee cannot believe in himself, w can he
believe in. And if the employee cannot believe in himself, he will only
harm the company. Iacocca once said "It's the job of leaders to set the
rules and to enforce the rules, and most important, when the rules don't
work any more, to change the rules."(Caroselli 1990, 56) Iacocca was
making a point that the goals of the company be realistic, and if there is
a need for change, change should be made . Most importantly, he
understands that hard work pays off.

Judy Columbus is another successful business leader. In 1978, Judy
Columbus set her goals to form a corporation with "dynamic people set in a
competitive environment and conducting business in a spirit of affection,
confidence, and trust." (Caroselli 1990, 173) She is a Realtor who
administers 19 sales associates and four office management personnel, who
are all woman. This group produces sales of over 50 million dollars.
Columbus has received many leadership achievement awards, and is a lecturer
and speaker on "What It Takes To Become A Leader" to various professional
organizations. Columbus used and uses several of her leadership skills
(language of leadership skills), in her profession, where she communicates
with her employees, and when she is giving a seminar for a professional
organization. Some of her effective language leadership skills are
explained in the next few paragraphs.

A fitting framework should be used in communicating information, the
leader who is speaking should outline a skeleton on what he or she is going
to talk about