One Pager Power

One Pager Power

Recently I attended a leadership development conference where many great speakers and authors shared their secrets on what it means to be a visionary leader.  One of the key takeaways for me from the event came from Navy Seals Commander, Rorke Denver. Denver isknown for his role as Lieutenant Rorke in the 2012 film "Act of Valor" and for his appearance as team leader in the Fox Television series, "American Grit."

Now, for those of you who know me, you're aware that the topic of military manoeuvres is not really my passion. I am more of a "love through leadership" kind of a person. That said, I highly respect and honour all of the those who have served for their country. And I also respect the keen strategist skill set that is required to lead such maneuvers. Further to that, I am open and always willing to discover through the experiences of others. 

Denver's lessons made perfect sense coming from a military leader, and they were quite applicable to those of us in the business world... all of us soldiers in our own right, really.

First he spoke about how success in his world is to, "Win the Gun Fight First."

His rationale behind this being that if you don't win the gun fight, no one will get home. In a war zone environment, I totally see how that is true. I also could see that rationale being equally as applicable in the business world. Hearing Denver speak reminded me of words I used to share when I was planning or facilitating a strategic planning session — "The Urgent Always Usurps the Strategic."

Bottom line is that often, the best business discussions and decisions come from the best timing. If you want to get the attention of key influencers, consider if some more pressing things are going on that need to be addressed first, before you even try to get the attention of the players involved. 

Secondly, Denver shared that he encouraged his team to "play without a safety net."

He indicated that if you practice your maneuvers only with a safety net, then when the team is out in a real situation and there is no safety net in place, the experience is new, fear creeps in and performance can suffer.

The last nugget he shared, brought clarity to what I had advocated for,  for many years..."If you can't explain something on one page, you don't know it well enough."

Those words resounded in my ears and pictures of past experiences flashed through my eyes.

In my past corporate setting, when research findings were shared, it seemed like the  researchers would consistently want to explain the entire process that was used and results were shown via a large deck of data.

As a driver for change, it was a challenge for me to see what the key message or story was that could leap out from all of it. And it certainly wasn't all being shared on one page. When that did happen though (when briefings were... well... brief!), conversation could then be spurred on what action to take and who will best lead it.  And if findings couldn't be explained in one page, whether one was aware of it or not, the perception was that you didn't know it well enough to distill it down.  

Even Lincoln only used 272 words to share The Gettysburg Address - which articulated the vision for independence and the birth of a new future.  Think about it! In just 272 words, Lincoln created the great change he sought. 

When your quest is to create momentum for change, leverage "The One Pager Power" and you will be following in the footsteps of many great change agents like Abraham Lincoln who have come before you. 

Interested in listening to an audio on this topic where Donna delves into this a bit more? Then click here to listen to her podcast episode.