Yesterday I was watching an old The Apprentice show where one guy got fired because he wasn’t accomplishing much and was simply talking too much (as mister Trump put it). Naturally I realize that the show is edited and scenes are cut, so it’s not possible to really know if the guy was helping the team or not. Whatever the case, the bottom line was that others thought that this guy couldn’t get to the point – and eventually he got fired.
Not sure if people usually get fired because they cannot get to the point, but I was a bit surprised to see this element to be so important for Trump. Getting to the point was so important that it cost a job for this guy. In the show, Trump said: “I keep meetings short and to the point. There’s so few hours in a day, and I want to accomplish as much as possible.”
Whether or not you like The Apprentice show (or pay attention to Donald Trump) I still think the lesson is important: don’t waste time, get to the point.
Having useless meetings or postponing decisions over and over are two examples of how you can waste time. I think if there’s a need to chat with somebody about business, then make darn sure you have an idea about what you need to accomplish. Having meetings to “discuss ideas” or “brainstorm together” are nice… but I’m not sure if these type of meetings really deserve much attention. If you need to “discuss ideas” – then be 100% clear on what you need to accomplish. What’s the goal of “discussing ideas”? Will you have another meeting to “discuss more ideas”? When will that end? Or will you make one meeting to “discuss ideas” and then decide whether to proceed after that initial meeting?
I was asked to travel to another city for a business meeting. Before I agreed to travel, I simply asked: could we deal it over a phone or skype? The guy said “sure”. After 15 minutes of talk we realized that there was no mutual benefits for discussing any further, so we simply thanked each other and ended the conversation. I could have spent 5 hours in a train to get back and forth for a 15 minutes talk, but I knew our first meeting could be handled via skype would be sufficient. I wanted to get to the point via phone, and not waste time. Simple as that.
Do you waste time… or do you get to the point?