Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Made to Stick

I just finished Made to Stick. I really enjoyed it. If you read their articles in Fast Company, you’ll know the Brothers Heath have an irreverent, sometimes acerbic style, which is more than welcome in a category that often tries to out-Harvard-Business-Review the next guy.

It's a book about how to make ideas more memorable, and how to get people to act on them. Arguably, anyone who talks is interested in having their ideas stick. These ideas apply to everything from business pitches to urban legends to Sunday school lessons.

But the hardest part of the book was reading ideas I completely agreed with, only to see them violated on a weekly basis. For example, John F. Kennedy said America would “put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade.”

Imagine if JFK spoke like a CEO. He would have said, “Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team-centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives.”

In an effort to sound like JFK, too many of us end up talking like CEOs.

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