The Write Way: Churning Your Spilled Milk

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your persuasive speech writing. Reading time: 2:55.

“I love revisions,” says novelist Katherine Paterson,
“where else in life can spilled milk be transformed into ice cream?”

           No wonder that churning your spilled milk into ice cream through careful and thoughtful rewriting, editing and revising — over and over again —  is the requisite skill of strategic leaders and cogent speakers.

          Yet too many executives are only too quick to spill the milk of their ideas–their knowledge, experience and expertise RIGHT NOW –rather than churn that milk into an ice cream of thought.

   Their Spilled Milk of Ideas (writing)  churned into the Ice Cream of Thought (rewriting)  become more palatable and portable to the audience.

    After all,  your revised writing and thinking– like frozen ice cream–    can be  packaged and carried a lot easier than a carton of milk (writing off the top of your head).

   Yet too many executives don’t want to invest the time into the one-good-churn-deserves another concept of  speech writing. They’d rather spill their milk on the run. Without much organized thought. But with much bravado. After all, they know what they know and their milk is bottled and ready for consumption.

         These milking executives, their self confidence bordering on arrogance,  are only too ready to pour their ideas out of their proverbial milk bottles of expertise and experience on the spur of the moment.

        They are like the executive who was asked how long it would take him to prepare a 10-minute presentation. He said two weeks “but if you want a two-hour presentation I’m ready right now.” That 10 minute presentation would no doubt be more meaningful and memorable.

                 Continue reading “The Write Way: Churning Your Spilled Milk”

Personal Communications: Catching the 5:15 Train of Thought

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you better prepare for your weekly staff update meeting.

A 5/15 takes 5 minutes to read and 15 minutes to write

         It’s 5:15 on a Friday afternoon. Do you know where your staff is? Of course not. Not in a digital, work any-where, any-time, any-how world.

     Yet the most effective leaders I know always knew where their staff was COMING FROM on or about 5:15 pm on a Friday.

      A 5:15 is an e-mail that each staff member sends to the team leader by the end of business on Friday.  This e-mail update should take no more than:

      5 minutes to READ and
15 minutes to WRITE.

       Pithy. Pointed. Precise. And often strategically insightful to the team leader who can then use the information –from customer concerns to competitive gossip heard on the street–to better prepare for his or her staff meeting the following week.

       In addition to the usual content in a status report– key wins and losses, operational glitches and expected challenges the following week–the 5:15 also asks each staff member to grade their own morale and Continue reading “Personal Communications: Catching the 5:15 Train of Thought”