The Power of Words - Krauthammer's Superiority
A discretionary effort leader develops stellar communication skills. Charles Krauthammer gave us a model to follow.
You may have been dismayed as I was by the loss of Charles Krauthammer one week ago. He was a Pulitzer prize winner, a bestselling author and statesman with a superior intellect. In the coverage of his passing, he has been described as irreplaceable.
As I read and listened to reviews of his life, I was impressed with descriptions of his communication abilities. Anyone desiring to be a leader people CHOOSE to follow would do well to study and emulate his distinctive verbal skills.
I recount them here for you to ponder.
- Senator Orrin Hatch on the floor of the senate said of Charles, “He was temperate in debate and well-practiced in the subtle art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.”
DEL Question: Can you disagree without being disagreeable? Can you have civil discussions on points of disagreement?
- He has been described as a man who in conversation knew his opponents so well that he could play chess in the conversation.
DEL Question: Do you enter a conversation after thinking about the other person, their opinions, and what you can say to influence them to your point of view?
- Several commentators mentioned that he never attacked or impugned another’s integrity.
DEL Question: Do you resist that jab or put down, especially when you know it would be a classic?
- In a heated debate he refrained from morphing the conversation into a pointless shouting match. He used precise words to convince or set a person with a differing opinion “straight.”
DEL Question: How is your vocabulary? Can you think of descriptive words to influence or do you resort to colorful language and yelling?
Krauthammer was a gentleman, a man who spoke the truth as he saw it based on his values and principles. His opinion was not swayed by position or personality. He was direct and left no ambiguity in his opinion.
George Washington University law professor, Johnathan Turley, said that Krauthammer was a rarity because of his clarity and honesty. Turley attributed this to his knowledge that you only go around once in this lifetime as opposed to a game of monopoly where you can go around the board as many times as you can.
Krauthammer was a discretionary effort leader even though he did not know it. I will work to imitate his strengths in my every day interactions with colleagues, friends and family.