Few people devote sufficient time to defining what they wish to achieve. Here are some good reasons why you should change your approach.
I have often been asked by delegates to describe what I think makes a great business writer.
All other things being equal, I believe it is down to knowing one’s objectives. Few people – certainly few delegates – devote sufficient time to defining what they wish to achieve.
They have a rough idea undoubtedly, but when it comes to articulating their ideas in detail, they are more approximate than precise. Successful people, on the other hand, are laser-focused on their objectives. It makes a positive difference to how they write.
Objectives guide their reasoning and keep them on track. They rehearse every scenario from rejection to acceptance. When opportunities knock, they know precisely how to answer.
As Yogi Berra said:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up some place else.”
Along the same sort of lines, I chatted to a business friend recently. He’s been CEO of several technology businesses and has four public offerings behind him. Today he’s a top executive coach who works with the boards of well-known companies.
I asked him about success factors. He said that if he were to select one above all others it would be customer focus. He said:
“retaining and growing market presence is about understanding customer interests, needs and desires, and to act upon them quickly”.
Which brought my mind to Charles Darwin:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones that are most responsive to change.”
So in answer to the original question, I believe that great business writers know their objectives in detail, apply focus and adapt their writing to their audience.