Writing Skills for Leaders

If you’re a leader, you should have good communication skills. Here are some ideas to help you as you write:

Good Writing Helps Demonstrate Leadership Skills
• Articulates a clear vision
• Shows you see the big picture
• Shows you clearly understand the problem or situation
• Effectively explains what actions to take
• Empathizes with subordinates

10 Steps to Good Writing
1. Understand the Demand for Good Writing
2. Define Your Message
3. Be Precise, Clear and Succinct
4. Grab Your Reader’s Attention
5. Hold Your Readers with Rhythm
6. Discover Your Organizing Method
7. Choose the Right Tone
8. Use Your Best Grammar
9. Edit, Rewrite, Refine
10. Master the Documents You Use Most Often

Simplicity
• Simplicity is the most powerful way to communicate.
• State your points positively
• Drop unnecessary words

Replace Stuff Language
• Jack was disappointed due to the fact that his boss never recognized his hard work.
• In the event that it starts to snow heavily today, please follow our storm policy.
• Jack will furnish the team with notes subsequent to our conference call.

Drop Unnecessary Words
• Overstuffed: I thought you might like to know that more than 30% of the support staff will be taking vacations next week.
• Overstuffed: Let me start by thanking all who have contributed to our team’s success.
Replace Buzzwords with Straightforward Words
• If you disagree with Steve during our meeting. don’t say anything. We’ll discuss it offline.
• We need to incent our paralegals to make fewer errors.

Grab Your Readers’ Attention
• Start with what is important
– Get to the point immediately
– Avoid information overload
• Use active verbs

Use Your Best Grammar
• Grammar is a simple set of rules
• Grasp them
• Apply them
• Bend some of the old ones

Email Pointers

• Craft explicit subject lines
• Be brief
• Be organized
• Don’t cheat on grammar
• Don’t use funky fonts or text-messaging abbreviations
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My fictions have appeared in numerous publications, including Saturday Evening Post, New Millenniums Writings, Blue Earth Review, Micro Monday, R-KV-R-Y, Funny in Five Hundred, Blue Lake Magazine, Adanna Literary, Dying Dahlia Review, 34th Parallel Magazine, Off the Rocks, and others. The News was on stage at a Chicago Theater. I was a recipient of a fellowship and grant from the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, and two of stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Also, my book of my stories, A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness, will be published by Atmosphere Press fairly soon.

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