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  • James Lord

Leadership should be genuine, not scripted...

The very first chapter in my book is called “Read from a script or speak from the heart” I chose to put this story first because it’s one of the earliest leadership lessons I can remember learning when I became a front-line manager over 20 years ago. That is how profound that lesson was. It stuck, even twenty years later...

The Reader’s Digest version (IYKYK) was that I was invited to attend a retirement party for an executive who had worked for the company for over thirty years. One of the most senior executives, a long-time coworker and peer of this person retiring, was giving a send-off speech. But instead of speaking from the heart, sharing a great laugh or an embarrassing story, this person reads his “speech” like an AI bot from an index card. No emotion. No authenticity. Pure B.S. It felt fake... and I never forgot that feeling.

Fast forward 20 years later, and our nation's leader is doing the same thing.

Listen, I’m not interested in your politics any more than you’re interested in mine.

Also, I agree that there is a time and a place for notecards. If you’re giving a speech to accept a Grammy Award for the very first time, and you are afraid you may forget to thank your 3rd-grade teacher, then notecards are great. You should use them, and nobody would mind. You’re nervous, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime situation. Use notes!

But if you’re the leader of our free nation, who is paid to address the country and our media, can you PLEASE have enough skills and confidence to handle questions from a junior reporter? If not, then why do you want to be in a leadership role in the first place? If speaking honestly and authentically makes you uncomfortable, should you even be in a position of leadership?

Leadership isn’t about faking it to make it. We need leaders who are genuine, honest, authentic, and unafraid to speak to us directly – even if that means you may choke or gaff occasionally. We respect the authentic – not the scripted.

…and my thoughts and posts are my own and not the views of any other person or company…

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