Recent literature models leadership as a process of communication in which leaders’ rhetorical signals facilitate followers’ co-ordination. While some studies have explored the effects of leadership in experimental settings, there remains a lack of empirical research on the effectiveness of informational tools in real political environments. Using quantitative text analysis of federal and sub-national legislative addresses in Russia, this article empirically demonstrates that followers react to informational signals from leaders. It further theorizes that leaders use a combination of informational and non-informational tools to solve the co-ordination problem. The findings show that a mixture of informational and non- informational tools shapes followers’ strategic calculi. Ignoring non-informational tools — and particularly the interrelationship between informational and non-informational tools - can threaten the internal validity of causal inference in the analysis of leadership effects on co-ordination.