This article, “Bad Managers Talk, Good Managers Write,” made me smile more widely than anything I’ve read recently on the subject of writing.

The three quotes below from the article demonstrate what I’ve believed for a long time.

  • Writing is so much more than a skill set.
  • It’s a mindset.
  • Writing is so much more than communication.
  • It’s clear thinking.

Well, good writing is anyway.

Reports are more a medium of self-discipline than a way to communicate information.

Andy Grove, Intel

There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Many people can pretend to be something they’re not in person, but very few people can do so in writing.

Phil Libin, Evernote

There’s a lot more to this. I’m going to let it marinate for now.


2 Comments on Successful Executives Believe Writing is Most Vital Skill

  1. Stefanie Frank
    September 5, 2014 at 6:14 PM (3 years ago)

    Oooh Debra I forgot you use PowerPoint that way. “Electronic index cards,” perfect description.

  2. Debra
    September 4, 2014 at 1:56 PM (3 years ago)


    I completely agree with this. For my work helping women professionals create more effective personal communications, I often write as a way to organize my own thoughts. I encourage my clients to do the same.

    One tool I enjoy for this is PowerPoint. I think of it as electronic index cards. I put each of my random thoughts on a separate slide, and I keep rearranging them and tying them together until I make a coherent presentation, argument, or article. It’s easier than Word because it’s so visual, even if I don’t have any graphics in it.

    I’m inspired by your 100 Day Writing Challenge. Can’t wait to read along!

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