Archive | communication

You should embrace Hanlon’s Razor

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. This colorful phrase, called Hanlon’s Razor, explains that people aren’t always out to get us; sometimes they just make mistakes. It’s a practical application of Occam’s Razor which states that, everything else being equal, the simplest solution is usually the best one. Hanlon’s…

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Banished Words 2017

You, Sir are living in a historic time. Post-truth politics gets carefully manicured through fake news and propagated bigly via an echo chamber. By my guesstimate, everyone’s favorite bête noire is the overuse of the word ‘disruption’. Am I on fleek? There’s no reason to get your dandruff up. During a town hall meeting, Lake…

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What’s An Eggcorn?

Even though my mantra is “Words Matter”, I’m constantly learning new things about language. Last week I received an email which contained the phrase “for all intensive purposes”. Of course, the correct phrase is the similar-sounding “for all intents and purposes.” The mistake struck me as both amusing and intriguing, so I tweeted that it…

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How Much of Leadership Is About Theater?

For reasons not worth getting into, this past week I was reminded of a decade-old HBS discussion entitled “How Much of Leadership Is About Control, Delegation, or Theater?” The original discussion was prompted by a claim from Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer that leaders only explain 10% of a company’s performance. Instead, a company’s current performance…

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