Friday, January 16, 2009

Steve Jobs Writes with Passion

Steve Jobs writes with passion, sometimes with the wrong message, albeit. Read his recent letter to Apple employees as he discusses his illness and pending absence from the day-to-day Apple scene. You will clearly see his emotion. Then read the letter he wrote to Apple customers a few months ago when he reduced the price of the iPhone - lots of personality, lots of Steve Jobs, lots of attitude.

Don't you prefer that? Don't you prefer a human to a bureaucrat? Don't you prefer personality to academic and legalistic BS? We are surrounded by bull and too many of us adopt that style because we want to fit in with the organizational culture we have joined. By the way, Mandarin has an interesting sounding phrase for BS. They use something like this - "bu sch" - as a word that means "not true." Yeh, "bu sch" - I agree!

When you write, write the way Warren Buffet recommends. He says that when he writes the Berkshire Hathaway annual report he pretends he's talking to his sisters. He even allows you to use them, if you have no siblings. Yes, the guy with all the money, one of the most successful business people in the world, a modern-day Rockefeller, writes as if he is talking to his sisters. He writes with humanity - and wisdom.

Think about your style the next time you write an email or memo. Look at your word choice. Are you using lots of three and four syllable words? Do you write sentences that never end. Keep it simple. Make it direct. Grow a reputation as a straight talker, a person who wastes no words, a person who values the limited time he knows his audience has. Look what it did for Jack Welch!

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