By Peter Jeff
The LeaderMints Guy Here are 18 ideas to gain and retain audience attention from the beginning of your communication. Reading time: 4:56
The Lede. That’s what the first paragraph of a news story is called.
Leaders leverage their writing with Ledes that command attention and retention.
Leaders sharpen their Lede writing so that the first paragraph in their memos, speeches, or books establishes relevance and portends significance.
Leaders sharpen their Lede writing to give voice to a wide range of human emotions impacting the human condition –from horror to awe and from joy to desperation that may delight or fright, thrill or chill .
As the leader, you assume the role of Anchor News Man or Woman. Your task is to lead your audience into your story, to help them connect to it and even anchor to it.
That’s why leaders lead with Ledes that engage readers to process their written messages more critically, understand their written messages more strategically and act on their written messages more convincingly.
Here are 18 different ways you can structure an opening to lead your audience into your written communications. Think of these 18 thought-starters as so many templates or patterns. to craft your written communications with a Lede that is tailored and toned to fit the mood and expectations of your audience. Continue reading “Leading ’em With Your Lede”→
Figures of speech to spice your writing skills. Reading Time 3:12
A word or phrase used as an analogy
to identify another object.
People expect the clergy to have the grace of a swan, the friendliness of a sparrow, the strength of an eagle and the night hours of an owl. And some people expect such a bird to live on the food of a canary. (Rev. Edward Jeffery)
A word or phrase used to compare the resemblance
of two objects, usually following the word like or as.
Here’s an idea to gain more control over your anger. Reading time: 2:53
Ohhh! If you could only install a punching bag in your office! You’re that mad!!
Well, how about trying another weapon of choice? Something you already have in the office.
Something more pointed.
Something lighter and easier to push around.
Consider making like a modern day Zorro. Unsheathe your pen. And figuratively rip your opponent to shreds. With the written word.
Sounds absurd? Tell that to President Harry S. Truman who exercised his Anger Writes in what historian David McCullough called “one of the most intemperate documents every written by an American president.”
Fortunately, Truman’s Chief of Staff intercepted the president’s vitriolic speech writing before it –and he–became a public embarrassment.
But at least President Truman’s pen vented his pent-up emotions. Now with the air cleared, Give ‘em Hell Harry’ could later think more constructively with his advisers to solve an escalating problem: striking union workers choking the economy.
Here’s an idea to help established expectations in a new position. Reading time: 3:04
Congratulations! You’ve been promoted. Or maybe condolences are in order. New department. Same old problems.
You’ve seen this movie before. And it ain’t pretty. So now what do you do?
Write a new ending of course. This is YOUR movie now. Direct it –the WRITE way.
Write a personal letter to each one of your direct reports, a personal letter that details your passion and your expectations for that person’s area of responsibility.
That’s what a four-star general did when he became Chief of Staff of the US Army. Gordon R. Sullivan refers to his Letters to Commanders in his book HOPE IS NOT A METHOD , What Business Leaders Can Learn from America’s Army. Continue reading “Writing Your Own Leading Script”→
Here’s an idea to encourage you to write more personal notes. Reading time: 3:14.
If your word is your bond, then your signature is your imprimatur. No wonder a leader’s personal handwriting in general and signature in particular is a meaningful leadership tool.
Making a Signature Statement
Through their personal handwriting, leaders more directly dip into the ink well that bottles their being.
Write-sizing leaders become more reflective than reflexive; more self-less than selfish and more personable than procedural.
Through their personal handwriting, leaders more readily squeeze their most productive and instructive feelings and thoughts onto the page like so many drops of blood, sweat and tears embedded within the drops of ink.
With that emphasis on personal handwriting, the most effective leaders invest mightily in their fountain pen of choice as a validating tool of their leadership. Their fountain pen of choice prescribes their personal elan and the savoir faire requisite in a leader. Their fountain pen of choice also projects as much of the leader’s performance portfolio as the Rolex on their wrist.
The investment is well worth it since the pen just may be mightier than the sword.
After all, handwriting analysis as a behavioral tool — a key leadership indicator–predates the formal study of psychology, according to author Bart Baggett, a leading handwriting analysis expert and founder of Handwriting University. And today psychologists focus on handwriting to better define that person’s personality and fears.