On writing

During my application process to business schools, I realized  my writing quality had decreased since my college days. In college, I would crank out papers almost mindlessly and overtime I became efficient in making bloated papers focused on pages than quality. It wasn’t until I took an introduction to geopolitics in my senior year  that I worked more on concise writing. We would create memo-like one pagers on our readings which meant I had to summarize forty or fifty pages in one page. For the first time, I had to really focus on main points and leave out irrelevant material. I wish I had more experience in college writing this way.

I feel like I am slowly losing my ability to write in a meaningful way.Two years out of college and working in a setting where most of my writing is emails or in less than 140 characters,I want to get back to the place where I write often and even get better. Here are a couple of things I plan on doing to improve my writing:


I will write more. By writing in my journal and on here more often, I hope to gain some confidence and get back to where I was at the end of my college career.


I will reading more fictional books. I reading a lot of informational texts but  I need to branch out to the fictional book space to practice identifying style and tone.


I will take opportunities to help others edit their writing. Practice makes better but helping others practice helps on a whole other level.

I hope to take my writing to the next level and to do that, I have to become a student of words, structures, tone and messaging. Writing, reading and editing more will definitely help me become a great writer.


Leadership and Communication

Great leaders are effective communicators. Think of MLK, Gandhi, Lincoln, and FDR. They were all leaders who understood the value of their words and how it would translate to action. Why did their messages hit so hard with the crowds that, at times, hung on to their every word?

I think it comes down to two very simple strategies that anyone can apply when talking to a group of people.

1. Believe, know and live your message. Have an understanding of what you’re saying to the point where people could understand your message without hearing you speak. Gandhi is one of the best examples. He preached non-violence and acted in accordance to his beliefs. Embodying your message gives you the unshakable confidence when communicating your message.

2. Know your audience. The great leaders always know their followers. They empathize, sympathize and understand where they are and where they come from. MLK understood that his followers needed the big picture and sought inspiration in his words. His sermon style speeches naturally gave his listeners hope and courage to work for a brighter future.

This is not an exhaustive list. I think that you’re half way to victory if you know your message well and the audience that will receive the message. At the end of the day, great leaders communicate well to inspire others or to call them to action. These two skills go hand in hand. Great leaders communicate well and effective communicators make for great leaders. I wonder which came first?