“Many of us have been in situations where a boss has mused, ‘I wonder how many…’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to know…’ only for that musing to become a research project that consumed an entire department for months on end.”
—David Shipley and Will Schwalbe, Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better
“The more people you’re responsible for, the more your words and the way you communicate those words and your body language and essentially everything you do is taken into consideration by the team. You have to be that much more aware of the way in which you’re coming across. And I think the best leaders ... are always aware of the way they are being received.”
Addendum (6/26/2016): And this, of Darren Walker, the head of the Ford Foundation:
“Early on, he had talked excitedly in a meeting about some idea that had occurred to him, and then had been startled to find, a week or so later, a detailed report on his desk exploring the idea from several angles — a report that had undoubtedly taken someone, perhaps several someones, many days to produce. He realized then that his employees wished to please him and anticipate his wants, and that therefore a president should not be too spontaneous or promiscuous in his enthusiasms.”
Addendum (6/10/2017): The National Labor Relations Board has held that when a company president expresses his “hope” to a worker, it can be coercive. In a 1995 case, KNTV, Inc., the company president had a private meeting with a reporter where the president told the reporter, “I hope you won’t continue to be an agitator or antagonize the people in the newsroom.” The NLRB found that the statement was coercive in large part because it was made by the company’s highest ranking official and it was made in a meeting that the reporter was required to attend alone.