"We sometimes forget the value, or the power, or the impact of words because, 'Hey, we're speaking the whole time, or we're writing the whole time... it's only me, how powerful can it be?'
So we say things that are the wrong things to say, or we miss our opportunities. If you have an opportunity to get a message across and you just treat it casually or you fluff it or you don't prepare, then that's a shame."
This insightful comment from Jeremy Kourdi was the inspiration for this Best Bits episode, in which I look back over the last few conversations in this podcast and pick out the sparkliest moments, stringing them together to create fairy lights for your mind.
With powerful words from:
Words matter. Use them, and use them well.
'Why would you write 28 books? To get good at some of the stuff that you're writing about.'
As well as writing those 28 books, Jeremy Kourdi has experience of senior leadership at The Economist, Duke University and the CMI. It's fair to say he has an all-round perspective on the value of content in business thinking, and in this fascinating conversation he reveals his own approach to writing as well as his thoughts on the value of words more generally. As content creators, we have a responsibility to use our platforms well: what does that mean for you?
Using words well is a core business discipline, as fundamental to effective leadership as financial management or strategic direction, and this is a masterclass for any leader wanting to go from good to great.
'I would encourage every author to have their own-book-shaped plan and their own-marketing-shape plan that is theirs, because that is what creates the books that really reflect our own message and that are really full of integrity.'
If you're tired of formulaic approaches or cynical marketing tactics, this will be a breath of fresh air. Alice Sheldon had a powerful message to share but found the obvious writing route and standard marketing tactics didn't sit well with her. So she created an Alice-shaped way of authoring and promoting her book, a way that drew on her strengths and drew in help and support from a whole team of 'book friends'.
In this conversation we talk not only about the transformational Needs Understanding framework, the 'surprisingly simple secret' of the title, but also the way that by understanding your own needs as an author you can create a way of writing and marketing your book that is not only effective but also joyful and authentic.
'The individual is a research project, every time we try something new we're being a kind of scientist in our own life.'
Megan Hayes studied the links between writing and happiness, and the first thing she discovered is that it's both more powerful and more complex than we think. Yes, 'getting it all down on paper' is a great way to process a difficult experience, but it turns out a writing habit can also help us be more creative, more energised and more effective OFF the page.
We talk about accessing the full range of voices within you - not just the shoutiest - to resource yourself fully, self-efficacy and sense-making, the ghost of the English teacher, the power of NOT being a writer, and so much more.
If you listen to nothing else this week, listen to this.