Is leading a quiet activity or a loud activity?

SsshhhThat is a strange question. Isn’t it?

Here is what I mean. Is real leadership something that you can undertake without ever raising your voice?

My son’s kindergarten teacher was Mrs. McGrath. She was a very soft-spoken woman. In fact, whenever she needed to get the children’s attention she would whisper. No matter what was going on in the classroom and no matter how rowdy the children were, she would stop what she was doing and speak in a voice that was nearly a whisper. And one by one the children would quiet down and come over to where she was standing or sitting and would get as close to her as they could. Why? Because they wanted to know what great secret she was about to share with them.

Now contrast that with the drill sergeant that assisted my dad through basic training during the Korean War. There was probably not a lot of whispering going on there. In fact that drill sergeant probably got up close and personal and spoke in such a way as there was no way my dad misunderstood what he was saying.

Two very distinctive communication styles. Both individuals were demonstrating great leadership. But it would be hard to find two more opposite styles.

So, is leadership a quiet or loud activity?