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HR Management
The New Language of Leadership
Behaviour Speaks Louder Than Words

By Neil Cassie

After 70 years since it first appeared Dale Carnegie's famous self-help book How the Win Friends and Influence People is being reprinted.

It has sold over 16 million copies and to quote The Times who reviewed the new edition recently: "...it was digested trhoughout the corporate world by ambitious men and women intent on climbing their respective greasy poles."

It spawned many thousands of similar tones across the years, one of the most recent of which is entitled, The Realists Guide to Moral Purpose - enough said.

Clearly some of these guides hit their mark but too many simply sought to promote the author's particular view of the business world in pursuit of an easy sale - usually at the airport departure lounge.

The problem this has created is an avalanche of 'how to' jargon that at some time or another has been inflicted on an unsuspecting workforce. Too often this imposition of 'the latest great idea' has crashed onto the rocks of cynicism, only to be replaced by 'the next great idea' by the incumbent CEO - or most likely, by their replacement.

In an environment where a CEO's tenure is typically less than two years, this 'try this and hope it works' approach is all too prevalent. And what is left behind are the employees of the company - jaded and confused, they use meaningless jargon laden language while wearing the latest slogan on their T-shirts and drinking out of last year's slogan coffee mugs.


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