As a leader, I strive to enforce a basic rule: Use your influence in a positive way.
I believe that the words you say carry much weight. Long are the days when filth from someone's mouth was just "accepted" or giving an excuse to someone for "that is just who they are."
Leaders are given a precious and honorable position to lead with their words and actions. This includes speech.
Recently, a story came out of Whitehall New York describing how one school board and district agree that swearing in leadership should be regulated. Former Whitehall (New York) varsity football coach Justin Culligan was fired for allegedly using foul language after school officials warned coaches before the start of the season that there was a zero-tolerance policy on swearing, according to emails from school officials.
What your mouth speaks is what is in your heart.
Let's start what the definition of your heart. The heart is the causal core of your personhood. So what comes out of your mouth is what is on your heart already.
Personally, I cannot hire or work with someone that cannot control themselves and the words they use. If they can't watch the words they use, what else can they not control? If you swear in anger, can you not control your temper? Do you really want someone to represent you and your team/program with an anger problem?
Your authority comes from who you are not from your volume or intensity.
Whatever you believe about cursing, you have to agree that there is a social and cultural stigma when it comes to using profanity. This is why whenever a high school athlete curses, I say, "Please watch your mouth." And they say..."sorry." If you like it or not, we live with a standard that cursing is not appropriate. Swearing is cheap. It is easy. And in your leadership, it will serve no purpose other than to weaken your leadership. People don't respect or follow leaders that can not find informed and intelligent words to say.
Words have the power to leave scars.
Your words speak volumes. When I encounter a leader who uses foul language as part of their vernacular, I have to believe that their heart is not as good as I once thought.
Not too long ago the LA Kings won the Stanley cup (Hockey) in one of the most spectacular ways any team in any sport ever has won a championship. You can read more about that HERE. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at the end of the parade cursed on live television. He knew it was live too. Video below. What are your thoughts?
I know what he was trying to achieve and it probably worked in the present moment. But he is now the leader who is a wild card. You cannot depend on a wild card. His leadership did not reveal his intentions for the future. Leaders focus on the future and calculate their responses to reflect the long-term success of their leadership.
Did I make my case? Did I take it too far? I would love to hear your thoughts on this rant.