Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Why [brief]? Communicate with power

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We live in a fast-paced world. We never have enough time to complete the agenda. The more we accomplish, the more the work seems to pile up. It gets overwhelming.

How do you deal with mounting stress? How do you keep your wits about you when the pressure to deliver intensifies? One method is to be brief in your communication.


It takes discipline to be brief and to the point. When you catch people’s attention quickly, and deliver your message with brevity, you capture their interest and commitment.

briefThese ideas come from a well-written, beautifully arranged book: [brief] – Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less. The author, Joseph McCormack, has become somewhat of a hero to me. He has captured so many salient principles in an easy to understand/read book.

“Real brevity invites and encourages really good, meaningful, controlled conversations.” Listen intently—you’ll understand what people are saying. Respond briefly and to the point—they will understand and appreciate your regard for their time.

Use brevity not only in person, but also in your emails, phone calls, social media and meetings. Picture the happy look on people’s faces when you end your meeting 23 minutes early!

The book is organized in three key sections:

  1. Awareness: recognizing verbosity and gaining the conviction to hold yourself (and others) to a higher standard of succinctness.
  2. Discipline: producing the ‘mental muscle memory’ necessary to make yourself a lean communicator.
  3. Decisiveness: gaining the ability to recognize key moments when you need to convey what really matters—effectively and efficiently.

You have to work hard to be brief. It’s not an easy discipline, but it will pay pay big dividends as you master it. When people recognize you value their time, they will see you as a valued, objective source of information.

This book has improved my life. Let lean communication become your new advantage.

Questions: How difficult is it to communicate in few words? What impact might [brief] communication have on your effectiveness? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: Keep your communications brief and to the point. Your teams (especially the engineers) will love you for it.

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