Be a Manager, Not a Mouthpiece

In this short video, learn how to own your words and build leadership autonomy, credibility, and team trust.

Reading Time: 1 min 


Leaders often find themselves conveying directives and policies from their superiors, such as the CFO or CEO. Sometimes leaders must even give the news that an algorithm has mandated a change. But if a leader speaks someone else’s words too frequently — or badly — it can undermine their authority and hurt team relationships. David Hollis, a lecturer of organizational studies at Sheffield University Management School, has studied this challenge in depth and learned approaches that managers can use to convey others’ messages while still owning their own words.

In this short video, he explains how leaders can apply these communication strategies to maintain autonomy, boost credibility, and increase trust.

For even more advice on how to turn managerial ventriloquism to your advantage, read the full article by David Hollis and Alex Wright, “Own Your Words to Gain Authority.”

Video Credits

Kaushik Viswanath is a features editor at MIT Sloan Management Review.

M. Shawn Read is the multimedia editor at MIT Sloan Management Review.


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