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This Week’s Focus: Tomorrow marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. In addition to being perhaps the world’s greatest ever dramatist, Shakespeare was also England’s greatest writer and linguist, coining many phrases that are still in common use today.

Whether you think a new idea is a fool’s paradise or a foregone conclusion, you owe a debt to Shakespeare. If someone is a sorry sight or as pure as the driven snow, Shakespeare got there first. And, if you wear your heart on your sleeve and are somewhat hot-blooded, you were first described by the great Bard himself

Language matters. In business it is easy to become focused on numbers, analysis and logic. But it is your use of language and the stories you tell that speaks to people’s hearts and that creates the emotional impact that really enables them to engage with your ideas and vision.

Most great leaders – from Churchill and Lincoln to Bezos and Jobs – are great storytellers, creating an emotional impact with their language.

How are you using language and stories to build engagement and commitment to your strategic vision and priorities? As Shakespeare might put it, there is method in this madness!

Off The Record: Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits

A love-struck Romeo sings a street-suss serenade

Laying everybody low with a love song that he made

Finds a street light, steps out of the shade

Says something like, “You and me babe – how about it?”

© Stuart Cross 2016. All rights reserved.