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Business English – Leadership

Thursday, January 3, 2013 @ 11:01 AM
posted by Jo

This is the preparation material for a Business English lesson about Leadership.  Leadership is organising a group of people to achieve a common goal. It is very important for businesses to be run by effective leaders. Good leaders motivate, encourage and inspire their staff to work to their best potential.  Leadership involves making decisions about many different things, but it is special compared to any other role because it has a unique responsibility for people.  Some believe that people are born to be either leaders or followers, while others believe that leadership is a skill we can learn.

Audio

Listen to six different people answering the question: ‘What makes a good leader?’

Download audio about leadership

Transcript of leadership audio

  • Which qualities of a leader that were mentioned do you think are the most important?

 Vocabulary

Nouns Adjectives Verbs
Leader

Leadership

Manager

Role

Communication

Vision

Relationships

Objective

Passion

Decision-making

 

Competent

Consistent

Decisive

Responsible

Disciplined

Cautious

Persuasive

Charismatic

Aggressive

Authoritarian

 

 

Lead

Encourage

Inspire

Communicate

Set an example

Enforce

Rule

Obey

Criticise

 

Leadership Idioms

  • Take charge – to take on a leadership role and become responsible for a situation. The company is in a mess. We really need someone who can take charge and sort this out.
  • One step ahead – to be better prepared or more successful than someone else. I think John should be promoted to manager, he is always one step ahead of everyone else.
  • Track record – the history of someone’s performance. Rachel is an excellent leader and she has a very good track record for leading companies successfully.
  • To roll up one’s sleeves – to be prepared to do some hard work. Alex sets a good example because he is always willing to roll up his sleeves.
  • Team spirit – willingness to cooperate as part of a team. Richard is very good at encouraging team spirit among his staff members.
  • Rally the troops – to coordinate people’s efforts; to gather people together for a common purpose. Michelle is very good at rallying the troops and motivating them to work to their best potential.

Conversation Questions

  • Do you consider yourself a leader? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever been in a position of leadership in a company?
  • If so, do you think you were a good leader? Why / why not?
  • What leadership qualities do you have?
  • What leadership qualities do you want?
  • If you were the leader of the company you work for, what changes would you make?
  • Is there a difference between a manager and a leader or are they the same thing?
  • Are there differences between male and female leaders?
  • Do you think some men have difficulty following a female leader? Why?
  • Do you think some people are born natural leaders or must they learn it?
  • Why is good leadership important for a business?
  • What are the characteristics of a good leader?
  • What leadership qualities do you most admire?
  • What different kind of leadership styles are there?
  • What characteristics does a bad leader have?
  • Have you ever had to work for a bad leader?
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