The most important skill a leader needs is to be able (and willing!) to give regular, informal motivational speeches.
Many leaders hide behind technology like email, social media, text messaging, etc, because it is quick and easy, and you can track your communication and potentially hold people accountable.
One problem? It is not often inspiring. Very rarely do I receive an email that makes me want to jump up and down with enthusiasm. Usually email is to the point, information oriented and often the underlying tone or intention of the email is misinterpreted, which is often the case with the written word. Written communication is wonderful for listing data and requirements and so forth, but it sorely lacks the impact of verbal nuance.
As a motivational speaker, I see the power that face to face communication has to motivate and inspire others. I am convinced there is no better way to compel people to action than through informal motivational speeches, yet many leaders try to pass this off on someone else such as a motivational speaker or coach.
Words create meaning and meaning creates action and can evolve or decay relationships. When I was a motivational speaker for association executives, the other speaker told a story about communicating through a text message to his sister that their mother had died. The speaker relayed to the association executives the regret he had in delivering this sensitive information through text. The motivational speaker suggested his relationship will be eternally tarnished because of his poor choice of communication medium. He continued his motivational speech by discussing the pro's and con's of electronic communication. While listening to the motivational speaker, I noted a lot more con's than pro's . . . yet text and email remain preferred means of communicating for many professionals today.
Verbal communication is still the most important and impactful way to communicate and is quickly becoming a lost art. Words by themselves, in black & white, are secondary and open for interpretation; it's the way words are communicated that creates a lasting impact. The spoken word's impact lasts much longer than when it is originally uttered. It carries with it meaning, inspiration and impact. If you want your words to be remembered, you will be more successful if you speak those words with emphasis, nuance, and conviction.