Summary of The Secret Language of Leadership

How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative

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The Secret Language of Leadership book summary
A passionate explanation of how good leadership is different from transformational leadership


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


This isn’t just another book about how to become a better manager; it’s about how to use language to become an “inspirational leader” who can bring about transformation and lasting change. Stephen Denning explains that transformational leadership is not the sole providence of an extraordinary few. Anyone with enough vision, commitment and grit to master a basic set of skills that he calls the “language of transformational leadership” can become a leader who creates change. Denning turns away from aloof reasoning and dusty information, and advocates being provocative and inspirational instead. His only lapse is a love of repetition. getAbstract believes that leaders who want to master persuasive advocacy will enjoy this in-depth guide.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why leaders’ traditional communication methods fail
  • How to communicate an idea in a way that inspires and motivates your audience
  • How to use emotionally appealing narratives rather than dry data to make your case


10 Leadership Mistakes
Why did U.S. Vice President Al Gore fail to become president in 2000, even though he was able to inspire international passion six years later with his environmental advocacy and his movie, An Inconvenient Truth? During his campaign, Gore made 10 common ...
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About the Author

Stephen Denning is author of The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling and Squirrel Inc., former program director of Knowledge Management for the World Bank and senior fellow at the James MacGregor Burns Leadership Academy at the University of Maryland.

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