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  • Writer's pictureRich Haglund

Don't write bumper stickers. Make stuff happen.

PowerPoint kills more than meetings.

Actually, PowerPoint can be a useful tool for meetings and other presentation settings.

And there are many tools that can be used to effectively convey ideas.

But the format frequently limits ideas and reduces the impact of the intended message.

A leadership coach recently shared the challenge of helping a client establish a vision for her team's work - why they do what they do and how. The coach agreed that the challenge may be magnified by a leader focusing on perfection at the expense of progress. And we discussed the risk of leaders being "constrained by PowerPoint:” feeling like they have to produce a written product in a certain format that appeals to some notion in their head of what their metaphorical teachers are thinking.

More often than not, I reckon, leaders have visions well formed in their heads and are able to talk though them. But leaders may be stuck trying to write it down in some perfect form.

Making your office a better place to work is driven less by what’s on paper in some strategic plan or flyer, and more by what you say and do day in and day out, to show you care about the work, your team, and those you serve.

Time spent trying to fit the message into a perfect format may be better spent practicing what you believe. It's one thing, for example, to say you want to make your organization a place where every employee, when asked what it's like to work there, has a similar answer. It's another thing to get to work assessing and modifying hiring, onboarding, one on ones, delegation, and coaching practices to actually make the organization a consistently empowering place to work.

Now, I'm not suggesting you shouldn't take the time to write down thoughts, or that you shouldn't delegate word smithing to someone whose strength is communications (using the services of great providers like these for individuals, organizations, or campaigns). But I am suggesting that you go ahead and get started making your vision real and don't wait until it's bumper sticker perfect!

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