Good Writing as an Essential Leadership Skill

By Leslie Anglesey

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Do you want to distinguish yourself from the pack and stand out as a leader? Is it your dream to inspire your team and help them bring an idea from the drawing board into reality?  Good writing is essential for leaders.

If you want to be the quarterback who is running the plays and keeping everyone on track, you need to be a master of the written word.

If your communication skills aren’t stellar, the whole project is less likely to succeed.

We are constantly bombarded with messages in our daily lives. There is so much “noise” going on that we have almost become immune to the fact that there is a constant stream of written communication coming at us. We simply accept that most of the information we are going to receive will be in written or visual form and give it more relevance than things that we hear.

Keep a Neutral Tone in Your Writing

Part of being a good leader is keeping a professional, neutral tone in written communication with your team.

When composing any written communications for your project, make a point of keeping the same tone throughout. If you play favorites by highlighting certain team members’ ideas time and again while ignoring others, this will become evident over time. It’s not a good move if you want to establish a reputation as an effective, fair leader.

Written Messages are More Convenient

If a person heading a project wants to get the team’s attention, he or she is going to have to do it in written form. It’s easier and more convenient to compose a message once and transmit it than to try to set a time when several people are available to attend a meeting at the same time. This strategy tells the team that the leader values the team members‘ time.

Pulling people into a meeting to listen to a message that could just as easily be shared via e-mail, text, or written in a memo with an invitation to contact the writer with any questions or concerns, takes time away from more productive activities.

Allowing your team to focus on moving the project forward without bogging them down in unnecessary meetings is one mark of a true leader.

Use Precise Language

Good leaders know what they want to say and choose their words carefully.

They use precisely the right language to get their message across. When their team receives a message, they are not left wondering what their leader meant to say. Make a point of proofreading everything you produce before it leaves your desk, tablet or handheld device for distribution. Spell check won’t catch every error, and it would be a mistake to rely on it exclusively to check your writing.

Provide Written Instructions

There is something to be said for keeping detailed records as your project moves through various stages. You can confirm which team member is responsible for working on various aspects of the project and the deadlines that need to be met. Issuing written instructions or a checklist to follow is a good way to ensure that all members of your team are on track and keeping up with expectations for deliverables.

When you have instructions in writing, it’s much less likely that someone will misunderstand them.

Verbal instructions may be forgotten or misinterpreted more easily, but a paper trail (virtual or literal) can be referred to when necessary to keep the project moving forward.

Follow-up Meetings With a Written Summary

After each meeting, send all participants a written summary of what was discussed.

This communication should also include the next steps and any other relevant information, such as due dates, product or model numbers, etc. Not only will it help to keep your team on track, but it can serve as a reference when you want to find out what progress is being made on the project and which team member has upcoming deadlines.

You should also be keeping track of this information elsewhere, but confirming it in this fashion helps to keep the lines of communication clear in case someone on your team has questions or concerns.

The ability to use words wisely and well is just one of the skills that a good leader will need to be able to draw upon if he or she wants to be successful. Anything you commit to paper or an electronic device should be considered permanent, so consider your words carefully.

How Do You Implement Good Writing?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Leslie Anglesey
Leslie Anglesey
Leslie is a writing specialist, educator and contributor to paper writing company EssayTigers. She is a networking expert and a guest speaker at university seminars.
  • This is really an art, a true difficult skill to develop. It entails a lot of risks, for example, the writer may tend to overword the message, using a lot of unnecessary words and terms.
    A written message also has to be customised for the intended readers. Takind care of using the correct terminology considering the “organisational language” and the level of the people that will read the message, all of that without being simplistic or pompous.
    Eventhough, doing all that there is always the risk that some of the readers consider the writer flamboyant or arrogant.

    Writing assertive, concise, simple and direct messages is truly a skill of exceptional leaders


    • Kautily Society says:

      Additionally, I think for the written document to be more effective it should avoid cliches and hyperbole

  • Martin Schumacher says:

    i think the difficult bit is trying to maintain the neutral tone all along while writing. The article is very deep and tackles all dimensions that can be applied in a custom research paper

    • 21st Century Schools says:

      I have always found that using the active voice in writing makes the text concise, understandable, and strong.
      Here is an Example
      Active: The department increased sales.
      Passive: Sales were increased by the department.

  • reaction essays says:

    Really interesting article. Good to know that this approach can be used in an essay.

  • Josias Braga says:

    Nice article, you should advise that to bring up a good vocabulary to put your writening skills in the peak of communication, you must either read a lot about your area or about subjects related to your carreer. This way your writening will rock.

    I do apply the “minute meeting” in important meetings, it gives me the track to follow and I can measure the advances of my team.

    Thank you!

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