"Learning faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage in an environment of rapid change."
Arie deGues

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 293

Estimated reading time:  1:45 minutes


How clear are your messages? Do we know what you are saying quickly enough?


I see on a friend’s Facebook pages that Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood have been in Edmonton this week on a Habitat for Humanity build. I have a confession to make. While I knew of songs like Rodeo and Friends in Low Places, I did not know much about Mr. Brooks, nor of Ms. Yearwood, until I discovered the Garth Channel on Sirius Radio.


It was on the Garth Channel that we heard about Mr. Brook’s advice to song writers. He notes that the first two songs of a lyric, (take, for example, “Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots” from Friends in Low Places) should tell you the key message of the song.


It got me thinking about clarity in conversations. How clear are you with your messages? Would everyone get the message you were trying to send if they read the first two sentences of an email?



I was reminded of a teacher of mine in grad school, who said that the worst words you could hear at a function were, “Rabbi, could you say a few words?” Those of us who have responsibility to “say a few words” from time to time, in a group, or one-on-one with our reports and peers must work very heard at clarity, and that requires that we be prepared, we take the time to craft our message very carefully. And might it be helpful to have a guideline that says, everyone will know the key message in the first two sentences?