“In every long lecture there is a short lecture trying to get out.” – Anonymous
If you’ve ever bought a home, you’ve no doubt been overwhelmed by the deluge of documents begging to be signed. Often on legal-size paper, the stack of documents can be measured with a ruler! Who reads all that stuff?
The tax bill that President Trump signed into law is also quite hefty at 429 pages—longer than most novels. And in recent years, nothing competes with the verboseness of the Affordable Healthcare Act weighing in at over 11,000 pages! Yikes!
But consider these timeless documents and speeches that truly qualify as being brief:
Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d better be brief! So, here are three strong reasons to be brief:
How to cultivate brevity in your writing and speaking
When writing or preparing a talk, ask yourself these three questions:
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” – Proverbs 25:11
Not long ago it hit me that both Business Leaders and Ravens have something in common.
They both get distracted by shiny objects!
I was getting ready to launch a campaign a few months ago and I saw a software program that would provide a simple way to include video in my outbound email. After going through a demo it suddenly became my #1 priority.
This would be my ticket to increased open rates and higher conversions…
So I plopped down $500 and totally immersed myself over the next few weeks, learning the system, shooting videos, setting up automation's, etc.
However, after 2 months and no measurable positive results I realized that I had fallen prey to the shiny object syndrome.
Have you ever experienced something like this?
Most leaders that I know have been tempted at some point or another to get off course because of a great new idea.
In fact, my staff had come to expect a new crazy new idea just about every week until I began using the idea parking lot concept.
I can hardly stand to pass up a brilliant concept or innovative approach to things but I also realized that I was driving my staff crazy with too much change.
So what we did was to create a section of my whiteboard specifically for ideas.
This became the idea parking lot.
I wanted them to be visible or else I was afraid they might be forgotten. The other reason was that it stimulated additional thoughts throughout the week.
I encouraged the team to participate as well. Every new idea was added to the board and then once a quarter we would evaluate the ideas and decide what to do with them.
Only ideas that fit within the strategic plan and budget could be implemented, otherwise they needed to wait.
This approach when used, has saved me countless hours of time and has prevented me from spending thousands on frivolous hardware, software, meetings, staff wages, etc.
The only problem with this system is that it won’t work if you ignore it like I did last quarter.
So next time you come up with the best idea ever, try parking it for at least a few weeks.
If after a month or so it’s still as good or better than when you first thought of it, then go ahead and include it in your plan.
Let me know how it goes.
What other ideas do you have for dealing with distractions?
Dwight Grant is a seasoned businessman with over 30 years of leadership experience. He lives in CO where he enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and spending time with family.