How to change a bullshit culture without losing your job

It’s just no fun if you’re the only one in your organization dedicated to clear, bold communication. Don’t stop there, spread the word. Here’s how to do it effectively. If your company, department, or workgroup doesn’t put a premium on clarity, it’s your job to change it. Remember the Iron Imperative: The Iron Imperative: You … Continued

How Donald Trump has changed political branding and marketing

While I don’t believe Donald Trump will win the upcoming election, he has changed American political marketing forever. Successful politicians like Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all changed the rules of the game. Trump’s innovative political brand will change how politicians market themselves. Put aside your perspective on the morality of his positions and analyze … Continued

Donald Trump: knocking a bully off the pulpit

While you can make the case that Donald Trump is a fascist or a racist, one thing is certain: he’s an aggressive, belittling bully. And bullies don’t stop until authority figures stop them. Bullies recruit supporters and then use that power to establish an “us vs. them” narrative, demeaning and hurting others. Trump’s recruits are the people he perceives as “true” Americans … Continued

Rewriting the news with stupendous verbiage in place of simple words

California middle school teacher Leilen Shelton wants her writing students to eschew simple words like “good,” “said,” and “fun,” according to the Wall Street Journal. To demonstrate the problems with this dumb idea, I rewrote a news article about terrorism, replacing all the mundane words with longer ones. Misguided writing teachers are responsible for much of the bullshit … Continued

500 analyst speeches: quirky results in exotic locations

Analysts (and authors) research fascinating things and find new truths. A lot of people want to hear what you have to say — I estimate that I gave more than 500 speeches over 20 years. Wherever I went, I seemed to experience the quirky side of things. A few exotic examples. Italian joke. I gave a … Continued

How to fix weasel words

Weasel words weaken prose. But how do you fix them? First, what exactly is a weasel word? A weasel word is an adjective, adverb, noun, or verb that indicates quantity or intensity but lacks precision. Think of words like “deeply,” “most,” “backer,” and “tends to.” They express emotion, but mean little. I know why you … Continued

An interview with Rohit Bhargava, author turned publisher

Rohit Bhargava had an idea. After writing a few great books, he decided to become a publisher-partner for authors. Rohit’s Ideapress Publishing venture is closer to self-publishing, with some costs for authors, but with great upside and the benefits of partnership. His company has now published seven books, including his own bestseller Non-Obvious. Rohit’s got great insights … Continued

My podcast with Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation

In November, I had an enjoyable conversation with Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation. If you’re interested in how I shifted my perspective from Forrester analyst to author to bullshit fighter and what I’m after here, listen in our conversation.