Excerpt from Vocal Leadership by Arthur Samuel Joseph.

Communication Mastery is an outgrowth of Vocal Awareness. Vocal Awareness is the roots of the tree and its circulatory system. It nourishes who we are and everything we do. Communication Mastery is the ?owering of the tree—the results that come from patient care and consistent effort.

Vocal Awareness informs everything we do. It supports us in living life to the best of our ability on our terms. It is the most comprehensive personal development work there is. It is also the most personal, and therein lies both the opportunity and the chal-lenge. The opportunity is discovering, de?ning, practicing, and sustaining what it takes to be our best. The challenge is believing that we have what it takes to be that—our best.

Vocal Awareness is a very personal work. It is an intimate work. Please note that the root of the word intimate, intimus in part means intrinsic or essential. It is intrinsic to be who we are, essential that we must be who we are.

A number of years ago while teaching a corporate client who was quite con?icted about how bold he could actually be in a pre-sentation we were preparing, I began discussing the concept of hu-bris. After looking it up in the dictionary, he discovered that the ?rst de?nition was “extreme arrogance or an example of it.” The following conversation ensued. I rhetorically said, “If you asked my former student Arnold Schwarzenegger what he thought about his body in his prime, for him to say anything other than the obvious, that is, ‘I worked very hard to develop my muscles to their fullest and to de?ne my body to look like this and achieve the success I have’ would be foolish. If you asked Emmitt Smith, another former client, if he thought it arrogant as he began his NFL career to boldly state to himself and write down in his journal that he wanted to become the all-time leading rusher in the history of football, would he con-sider this arrogant? Emmitt would say, ‘No.’ I then asked, ‘Why is it acceptable for these men to speak their truth about themselves and make bold statements about their vision, yet you are intimidated to con?dently express your ideas to the CEO and to the Board in this important address when you are already seen as a signi?cant leader in the company?’ Use your strong resonant voice and de?ni-tively and con?dently convey what it is you are there to say. This is not egotistical; it is professionally responsible, and who you are. You are the executive vice president of your division. You told me that this presentation creates a career opportunity for potential advance-ment—paving the way to ultimately becoming the CEO. It is your responsibility to yourself and the corporation to step in and step up.”

It was at this moment that Vocal Awareness reframed for this leader the concept of hubris. He implicitly understood that in Vocal Awareness, hubris is not interpreted as extreme arrogance, rather, it acknowledges our understanding of excellence and what it takes to be our best irrespective of what anyone else might think. A few moments later, when he returned to work on his presentation on camera, there was a fundamental shift in what he embodied and how he communicated his message. He later reviewed his video at home and called me to say, “Thank you for helping me be myself.” He is now one of the top ?ve leaders of this worldwide company. Many consider him the heir apparent to the CEO.