“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”
One of the most influential characteristics for a leader is to be able to communicate so effectively that everyone who hears her understands her. Clarity of intention immediately communicates in clarity of language. It clears away the blockages between the leader’s mouth and the listener’s mind. Sincerity will do it every time.
So time in reflection is never wasted if it’s to clarify what you intend.
I remember a conversation I had with my dad, a priest in the Church of England. I asked him, “Dad, what is sin?”
My dad replied, “It’s in your intention. In what you intend.”
I thought for a while. “But I have seen situations where people have intended bad things and good things have resulted. And there’ve been times when people with the best of intentions have created bad and unhappy results.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he responded. “It’s in your intention.”
“So how do you know all of your intention, Dad? How can you be sure that all your intention is good?”
“Do you read the Bible?” he asked.
“No,” I said. “At the moment (well, it was some time ago!), I’m reading the Bhagavad Gita.”
“That’ll do,” he said. “You need to keep reading good books, keep examining yourself, keep praying (in my case, keep meditating), keep monitoring yourself. Always keep your thoughts on what you intend at every moment. Then you can be sure that you are free to be sincere.”
It takes great self discipline to be a great leader. A great leader communicates their intention cleanly and transparently through their sincerity. It injects gravitas and compelling weight to everything they say. They get believed. They get trusted. They inspire loyalty and action.
What do you intend today?