Gauge your audience. When addressing a crowd you don’t know, quickly assess their immersion in your subject. Say your topic is the Mushroom Lovers band. Tell your audience to: (1) Raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Mushroom Lovers. (2) Keep your hand up if you’ve been to a concert. (3) OK, now if you’ve been to two or more concerts.
— Adapted from Problem Solving 101, Ken Watanabe, Portfolio.
Distinguish style from substance. “Business schools often ask me what Steve Jobs teaches us about,” says his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “He took total responsibility for his products from end to end, he put products above return on investment and he wasn’t a slave to focus groups.”
— Adapted from “What Would Steve Do?” Rana Foroohar, Time.
Find a winning strategy. A burrito gets no respect, but Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ellis is a superstar. Chipotle’s stock is up 50% in one year. How? Simplicity and speed while raising quality.
— Adapted from “Chipotle is Apple,” Matthew Yglesias, Slate.