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Can you #tweet your way to #greatness? #NoWay

Drive profitable sales with a plan and some meat on the bones


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Simplifying messages is a talent that’s extremely valuable as an executive. Framing issues quickly and distilling them to their essence is a proficiency that comes more naturally to some than others. But it’s valuable and learnable, whether you’re an executive or on your first job.

Brevity, however, has its limitations.

“Go, team, go” might be brief, but if that’s the direction a CEO gives the team regarding strategy, I’m fairly confident the people who make up that team won’t have a clue what the heck to do or where to go.

Trying to run a company (or a country, for that matter) by relying on messages with fewer than 140 characters is like trying to cook gumbo with only rice.

I worked with a CEO at one point who didn’t have a clear strategy and, as a result, naively thought it was all about the execution.

Next time you hear that frequently used phrase, please send that individual my way. Execute what?!

Because this particular executive identified no clear path forward, left weekly voicemails for thousands of employees imploring them to “drive profitable sales” without direction regarding how. Dumb! I suspect in today’s world he’d have done this on Twitter, and the result would be the same.


On the flip side

Years ago I worked with a financial officer who had mastered the ability to merge detailed thinking with brevity. In meetings, he would — to board members’ horror — walk in with a stack of slides (yes, this was quite a few years ago!) about a foot high. However, he only used a few of them to illustrate his key points. The other slides were backup, and he was so well rehearsed there was nary a question thrown his way that he couldn’t answer with a backup slide.

Whether the message has a “Go team!” mentality, a “Drive profitable sales” strategy, or — from our current political environment — “Repeal and replace” approach, there;s got to be some meat on the bone.

These exhortations by themselves are worthless.

“Rah, rah, sis, boom, bah” might work at cheerleading camp, but it doesn’t get you to the goal line.

Executives must be able to synthesize and simplify, but they also must provide a game plan with some detail.

I hope you drive some profitable sales today (with a plan).

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Todd Ordal

Todd Ordal is president of Applied Strategy®. Todd helps CEOs achieve better financial results, become more effective leaders and sleep easier at night. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000. Todd is the author of Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be (Morgan James Publishing, 2016). Connect with Todd on LinkedIn, Twitter, call 303-527-0417 or email todd@toddordal.com.

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