Being able to effectively communicate persuasively and eloquently is a fundamental and powerful tool in the toolbelt of any leader. 

BUT.

What if it is simultaneously a curse?

A dark side of the force has reared its nasty head. What if leaders are simultaneously persuasive and also… WRONG?!

the emperor struts proudly as he shows off his new majestic clothes- invisible only to those who are stupid

(The emperor struts proudly as he shows off his new majestic clothes- invisible only to those who are stupid)

The Emperor’s New Clothes is truly a tale of many persuasions. The cunning weavers persuade the emperor that the new magnificent clothes they have just crafted is invisible to the eyes of the stupid. The emperor, who obviously can’t see it, persuades himself that these clothes are real and he is actually wearing them...

It’s as light as a spider’s web. Why, I hardly feel it at all.

Even the wise men advising the emperor persuaded themselves. They went along with the deception in order to maintain their belief in their own intelligence and avoid looking foolish in front of others.

But if I can’t see anything, that means I’m stupid! Or, worse, incompetent!

This is a classic example of cognitive dissonance getting in the way of rational thinking. This is the curse persuasive leaders are facing. 

artwork displaying cognitive dissonance

(Cognitive Dissonance – credit to Reddit)

For example, think about the leaders of the big cigarette companies. On one hand, they know that cigarettes are highly addictive and harmful. On the other hand, their job is to persuade people to buy cigarettes and make profits. The rational thinking would be that, for health’s sake, cigarettes are not sold.

Yet, cigarettes are estimated to be killing more people annually than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.

So, that right there is the insidious side effect of leaders being skilled in persuasion. When they are good at persuading others, they can be just as good at persuading themselves, and then cognitive dissonance gets in the way of their rationality.

what are we supposed to do now? gif

Do we give up on pursuing the art of persuasive and eloquent communication? Do we stop giving people the unfair advantage that it brings? HELL NO! The light side of the force is stronger than the dark, so that is what we need to build up.

From helping you persuade a loved one to make a better lifestyle choice to convincing your customers that what you’re selling will make their lives so much easier, eloquence and persuasion is vital. Persuasive communication was once a cornerstone of education and it deserves to be put back in its rightful place.

The Emperor is naked!

To head back to the naked emperor for a moment. The story ends with the emperor gracing his people with a nude public appearance after he convinced himself he was wearing the most beautiful clothes. The curse was broken as soon as the children called him out and exposed him for being exposed.

The question to leaders is, are you surrounding yourself with people like the “wise advisors” or the “honest children”. Because in those times when the leadership curse takes affect, you’re going to need people who call you out before you head into the town square naked.

They will be your canary in the coalmine.


Giving leaders the ability to communicate persuasively is a craft that dates back into ancient Greece. A craft that Missing Link has courageously taken up the torch of. We believe that the unfair advantage that comes from being able to communicate effectively and persuasively is what separates the leaders from the managers.

Help us help you gain that unfair advantage! Master the light side of the force of persuasion.