Leadership is a Conversation

I was recently interviewed by one of my clients and was asked very specifically to quickly and simply define leadership. No mean feat, given the amount of information out there on the topic, and the amount of definitions that people have used in the past. 

From leadership styles, to leadership levels (John C Maxwell), and everything in between, everyone would have a way to define or describe leadership. 

After some reflection, what I came up with for my definition for Leadership: 

Leadership is a Conversation 

But, can it really be as simple as that? I think so, and here is why … 

1. Leadership is a conversation – IT IS ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION 

In very general terms, leaders are very often judged by the quality of their communication. They are measured on how well they can share a vision, how well they can give instruction, how well they can inspire, how well they can motivate, and how well they can do a range of other things as part of their role – will all of those things required a high level of communication skills. 

And, communication is not just speaking, and telling. 

Effective leadership communication is more about listening, than speaking. It is more about empathising, then telling. It is more about caring, than sharing (information). It is more about why “we” need to get something done, or achieved, and less about how we will do it. 

Leaders that understand the importance of communication skills will develop high performing teams, as they will articulate with care, confidence and clarity (the 3 c’s). And, most importantly, they will communicate in the style of the person they are talking to, not in their own style (remember that if you are an extrovert, you need to change up your style for introverts – good leaders know this). 

2. Leadership is a conversation – IT IS ALL ABOUT BEING ROBUST 

Of all of the leaders that I coach, and come into contact with in general, the single biggest challenge that they have (and that they ask for advice on) is – how do I broach this tough topic with my team, or a specific team member? 

In short, the question is – ‘How do I approach robust conversations?’ 

In my experience, the most successful, and courageous, leaders are those that are willing to have the robust conversations, and have them with the right intent, with the best interests of the team (and the team member) at heart. 

There is an art to the robust conversation, and if done well, sets the team and the leader up for success. If not done well (or if not done at all – which is more commonly the case), it can set the team up for failure. 

Leaders; please don’t avoid robust conversations. Get over yourself, and make them happen. 

3. Leadership is a conversation – IT IS ALL ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL 

Yes, communication is all about the individual. 

Low performing teams have one main challenge (in my experience), and that is a lack of direct communication (see point 2, above), and a high level of gossip. 

Leaders must never, under any circumstance, break the confidence of their team, and gossip about someone to other team members. 

Gossiping is so destructive; it destroys any confidence that people had in you, and as a leader, your team members will stop sharing information with you, if they don’t feel they can trust you. 

Leadership is a conversation with the individual that it concerns, and no-one else. 


And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

UPGRADE your Mindset
UPSKILL your Leadership
UPLIFT your Teams

About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
Work With Anton!

Subscribe to our Newsletter