10 Differences Between Leaders & Cheerleaders

January 20, 2014

Leadership Word Puzzle

Philip Nation distinguishes the difference between genuine leaders and cheerleaders, or what he calls the difference between those in leadership positions who use buzzwords and those who actually lead.  Think for a moment about this vital distinction:

I think that a key facet of leadership is knowing the difference between a strategy and a collection of buzzwords.

So what are some of the differences Nation notes between leaders and cheerleaders ?

1. Buzzwords begin as a rallying cry and end as words to broadly applied. / Leadership constantly looks for fresh ways to keep the movement alive.

2. Buzzwords are a poor substitute for the real content. / Leadership offers a vocabulary of meaningful dialogue.

3. Buzzwords give a false sense of momentum when stagnation is the reality. / Leadership identifies stagnation and tackles it.

4. Buzzwords are an easy way to say nothing when those who follow you need to hear something. / Leadership shows the willingness to have the difficult conversations.

5. Buzzwords kill the meaning of a movement. / Leadership continues to give life to a movement.

6. Buzzwords are the escape hatch for the speaker who is unprepared. / Leadership finds a way to be the most prepared person in the movement.

7. Buzzwords provide a facade of being knowledgeable. / Leadership actually learns.

8. Buzzwords give false hope of a possible future. / Leadership tells a beautiful and detailed story of what can be.

9. Buzzwords are big ideas boiled down to the lowest common denominator of thought. / Leadership offers everyone a way to access the big ideas and bring understanding to them.

10. Buzzwords make important words eventually seem disposable. / Leadership redeems the important meaning of words and phrases.

To read Nation’s full article: Buzzwords & Leaders

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