How High-Impact Leaders Use Communication to Achieve and Inspire

Have you ever met someone who has the ability to get the best out of others? Maybe it isn’t someone you’ve met, but someone you’ve seen or read about. There are some people out there who just seem to have a special something that makes others want to work harder, give it their best, and make great things happen. How do they do it?

According to many popular business publications, the secret to an inspired and dedicated workforce is servant leadership. Zeynep Ilgaz writes in Entrepreneur that the concept of servant leadership has been around for over 50 years. While its popularity has waxed and waned over that time, the attributes of this leadership style can be recognized in many modern CEOs.

Companies including Starbucks, Zappos, Fishbowl, the San Antonio Spurs, UPS, and Whole Foods openly embrace the philosophy. But it isn’t just large corporations that adhere to servant leadership principles. Individuals in all types of leadership positions employ all or some of the tenents of servant leadership in their interactions with others.

The Leadership Style of Choice for Many High-Impact CEOs

In this article, I’m going to share some examples of high-impact leaders who use the methods of servant leadership to guide their organizations to success. I found this great list of servant leader characteristics titled 19 Traits of a Servant Leader and Why You Should Become One at

Unsurprisingly, a lot of what makes someone a strong leader is having strong communication skills. Many of my favorites have made the list! Remember TAG? Thoughtfulness, authenticity, and generosity are all characteristics of high-impact, servant leaders. Empathy and listening skills are on the list, too!

Servant leaders are community builders who encourage open communication and inspire trust. They share information and are invested in developing the leadership skills of others.

Not sure servant leadership is the path to success? Let’s take a look at some acts of servant leadership in the wild.

Facebook’s Chief of Relationship Building

Okay, with his reputation for being driven and aggressive, Mark Zuckerberg might not be who first comes to mind when you think “servant leadership.” But his drive isn’t limited to seeking the best for only himself. Pundits describe him as a relationship builder. He has a clear vision for his organization and he communicates it. Finally, he is willing to listen to feedback from others within his organization.

Google’s Talent Nurturing Powerhouse

In January of 2017, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai gave a speech at his alma mater. I found excerpts from his speech in this Like a Boss article at In discussing his leadership style and success at Google, Pichai says his job is to help the members of his team succeed by removing any roadblocks or barriers that stand in the way. He creates success for his company by encouraging collaboration and personal development.

American Water’s Developer of Excellence

Susan Story leads a publicly traded utility that supplies water to 15 million people throughout the U.S. and Canada. In this article by Matthew Clark at, she describes how she leads by empowering others. Story reveals that she sets an example by setting high standards of competence and integrity for herself. She also takes the time to understand the individual needs and desires of her team members, then empowers them to achieve their full potential. American Water’s success is built on this culture of personal excellence and individual achievement.

Become a Great Leader by Being a Great Communicator

So are you inspired? I hope so! Business and economic leaders from around the world predict that the ability to communicate will be one of the future’s most in-demand job skills. Whether you lead a large corporation or a single team, the ability to express your ideas and listen to the ideas of others could define your success.

I want to encourage you to continue to develop your communications skills. Who knows what the future will hold for you?

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Learn even more about how to improve your communication skills, storytelling and public speaking at theBostonSpeaks Blog or watch one of our weekly BostonSpeaks Webcasts.

Kit Pang is a Communication Expert, TEDx Speaker Coach, TEDx, Inbound and Keynote speaker, the host of the BostonSpeaksSeries, BostonSpeaksTalks and the founder of BostonSpeaks. He is on a mission to help individuals become exceptional speakers and communicators. Kit’s seminars and talks have been credited as super fun, engaging, soul-searching and insightful. | @KitPangx, @Boston_Speaks