Black and White- Voice of a Leader

Black and White- Voice of a Leader

Words have power , and when they are articulated by people in power , they become force multipliers !

The same goes for leaders and people with leadership potential, when they communicate their thoughts, ideas and goals with clear statements. Sometimes, such statements are also demonstrative of their strength and character.

These statements should be indelible, sometimes witty, but impactful and most importantly have the hook. There are several ways of doing that. But today let’s look at a particular method that I define as ‘Black and White’ method. This style is popularly called chiasmus.

Lets look at a famous quote from John Kennedy – ‘Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind’.

This particular statement could have been said in much simpler way. Let’s say “Mankind must stop war”. Does it have the same impact? No

Why not? He uses two statements with similar words in it but the meaning changes completely. This is the black and white statement. How to make such statement? Lets break it into steps

Now let’s try have our own ” Black and White” statement.

Lets be the a leader who is asking his team to trust the company and also asking for results from them.

1. We need two subjects that can be interchanged in the arguments to create the opposite meaning. Lets use ‘Company and You’.
2. An action expression that can be used for both the subjects . In this case lets use ‘won’t fail’.
3. The second part expresses the main take away of the speaker, the first part is there to create the contract.

Now lets try, ” The company won’t fail you if you won’t fail the company

This sounds like a leader who is motivating and also asking for commitment from his employees.

Some other examples of Black and White statements would be ‘Absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence‘ or ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going‘.

This is easy to make your signature statements that will have impact, creativity and recall value. Try it and let me know your feedback.

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