By Pia Lee, CEO, LIW

Words count, particularly in times of crisis.

Jacinta Arden, New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister, earned worldwide respect for her empathic, decisive and inclusive human leadership following the deadly shootings in Christchurch.

Her simple, unifying, calm words sought to reassure a shocked nation. “This is my request, I alone cannot get rid of those things, I need help from every single one of us…show those outpourings of love, but also let NZ be a place where there is no tolerance for racism ever. That’s something we can all do.”

‘Over the ditch’ however, there’s been a depressing, divisive verbal battle, ending in an ugly ‘scramble’. Shame.

What does this mean for leadership?

The words you choose reflect the values you align to. Choose them carefully to match the higher intent you need to create, not self-interest.