Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There's Hope For Me Yet

Or, Why I Hope Twitter Is The "XFL" Of This Decade

In job-hunting, as in dating or life overall, you want to emphasize your strong points in the hope that you possess a desired trait. For me, that skill is the savvy use of words and the English language to convey abstract or complex concepts.

In this New York Times interview, the CEO of Delta Air Lines, a guy named Richard Anderson, confirms that dropping random words on a PowerPoint slide is insufficient to succeed in business. "It’s not just enough to be able to just do a nice PowerPoint presentation," he said. "You’ve got to have the ability to pick people. You’ve got to have the ability to communicate."

This guy is my new hero.

A selected passage:

Q. And is there any change in the kind of qualities you’re looking for compared with 5, 10 years ago?

A. I think this communication point is getting more and more important. People really have to be able to handle the written and spoken word. And when I say written word, I don’t mean PowerPoints. I don’t think PowerPoints help people think as clearly as they should because you don’t have to put a complete thought in place. You can just put a phrase with a bullet in front of it. And it doesn’t have a subject, a verb and an object, so you aren’t expressing complete thoughts.

And a lot of what we do in communication, when you write e-mail, you need to express yourself very clearly so people understand whether we’re going to L.A. today or we’re going to Boston today.

Mr. Anderson, are you hiring in Chicago?

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