What’s the dullest, most essential business skill? It’s writing
According to several wildly successful executives, writing is critical to the success of any manager—which is all of us. It’s superior to verbal communications because it’s consistent, raises accountability and it endures.
Jeff Bezos: Writing as a means to clear thinking
According to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, “There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.” Bezos loves carefully structured memos and believes that writing out full sentences forces the clear thinking that is part of Amazon’s customer focus.
Andy Grove: Writing instills self-discipline
Intel’s Andy Grove believes that “reports are more a medium of self-discipline than a way to communicate information.” Like Bezos, Grove believes that the value is the process of sitting down and thinking through a process and documenting it. It is Grove’s belief that writing is self-discipline and that a good writer is one who learns to be precise. Good business writing is also economical—making your point in the fewest words possible should always be your goal.
Written communication is an inevitable part of every project
You may be a person who communicates well verbally but avoids written communication because you don’t write well. But you can’t avoid it–emails, memos, thank-you notes, proposals, presentations, your product and follow-up reports are inevitable parts of every project.
Good writing still matters
We may have dummied down with our 140-character sound bites, but good writing still matters, and people judge you by the way you write. Whenever you produce written material, you are putting a line in the sand, positioning yourself as an industry expert. If that material is badly written, riddled with grammatical and punctuation errors and never quite gets to the point, you look a whole lot less expert.
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