Get to the “So What”.

16 08 2016

“If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.” ~ Albert Einstein

“What’s the ‘so what’?”  So many people have heard me say this that I’ve heard it start to get repeated.  I learned those words, and what they meant from my previous CEO.  He was a busy guy, and when I brought him an idea, a solution, or a question, I would spend time framing the issue.  After a few years, he didn’t need the issue framed, and just asked for me to get to the point by asking what the “so what” is.

Leaders, it’s entirely appropriate to frame an issue before making a pitch.  The thing is, knowing your audience can tell you how much you should frame it.  If you see the person you’re talking to start giving non-verbal cues, like rolling their hand in a circle (go on), or you start to lose their attention, then jump to the “so what”.  It will pull them back in.  They might then ask questions that allow you to better fill in the blanks in their knowledge without having to tell the whole story over.  Time is money, so be as succinct as you can, while still getting to the “so what”.

Speaking of tailors…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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