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Big Words…

I’ve just read a professional journal aimed at personnel managers. And my attention was drawn to an article where they were asking eminent thinkers what they thought the future of leadership would be.

Cool. That’s right up my street, so I read with interest what the top people in the field of leadership had to say.

And, oh deary me. Spot the error folks. Here’s a direct quote from possibly the leading thinker on business and leadership in the UK. “Leadership will be virtual, virtuous, ephemeralised, generative, autopetic and dialogical.”

Now, this might be a Derby thing, but I’ve got absolutely no idea what any of that means! As I type it it’s underlined in red which means my laptop thinks it’s wrong too!
Apparently, hippopottomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the fear of long words. At Art of Brilliance and our sister company Brilliant Schools, our entire workforce has contracted a bad case of it! Mention ‘pedagogy’ and we come out in a rash.

Simplicity is our thing. If it’s simple and obvious, even better.

Which brings me on to the only stand-up row I’ve ever had with a client. Picture the scene. I was at a senior management meeting, presenting my ‘solution’ to their leadership ‘problems’. It soon became clear that the client was expecting big words and I gave him simplicity.

On reflection, if I’d mis-sold him something ‘ephemeralised’ or ‘autopetic’ he’d have spent £100k. And I’d have spent the next 18 months wrapping his senior management team up in academic knots so they were incapable of functioning.

Just so you know, I was escorted off the premises (actual true story!)

I think my potential client was confused by the fact that I was charging him a considerable sum for something that was essentially very simple. His view was for that kind of money he could have something far more complex.

No sir, for that kind of money you can strip away the complexity and get down to the basics of how to inspire yourself and your staff. ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’ is certainly not ‘dialogical’ or ‘generative’. But my goodness, it works!

Until next time…