No Zombie Talk

Accountability Communication Personal leadership


Key Point: Learning to be efficient and clear is an exceptionally important skill. It is a necessary gateway to any top-level position. We have to be excellent translators. If you spend any time with high-level boards of directors you may learn this lesson in a painful way. An icy glare from the Chairman when you use precious board time with some comment that adds little to a meeting will have you looking for a cave to hide in. Ouch. If it is not material to the progress of the group’s agenda, shut up.

I’ve been listening more carefully to how much B.S. has infiltrated and clouded our conversations. I detest for example, that we use exclusive words in the human resource community that I find fuzzy at best and confusing at worst. For example, what does “performance driven, talent management and workforce utility ” really mean? (I’ve probably used similar phrases… Geez… What pomposity). I just got a call from a sales person reading off a script inviting me to a conference about leadership and the way he described it had me almost burst out laughing. I thought he was pitching something about advanced physics. No, thanks.

As I get older, the more I value clarity and the elegance of simplicity. The size and complexity of my PowerPoint is often an indication of how much more work I need to make the intent of my message more accessible.

Another peeve is acronyms. People are often shy to ask what the heck they mean. Complexity in communication is such waste! And I have lots more work to do in this area. How about you?

Character Moves:

  1. Sharpen your words and keep practicing. 
  1. Allow yourself the time needed to craft an elegantly stated view and paint a vivid picture of your intent. When you say or write it with crystal clarity, your audience will emotionally connect with you.
  1. Listening to be sure you understand their intent is a treasure chest of insight for how to better communicate. Become an expert at learning from the communication style of others.

Less words and more meaning in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: I’m fortunate that my field of work preaches this. I’ll never forget my Reporting Public Affairs professor telling me, “Garrett, if anything you write is over 800 words, it better sing.” The myth that length is a sign of intelligence or deeper understanding is not normally true. How’s this? The employee who asks a personal or time wasting question at the end of a department meeting should have to bring in bagels and coffee on Friday morning that week… #NoBagelQuestions2015, let’s start a movement.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis