Understanding is a Product of Clarity

May 22, 2017

Credit Justin Willingham / WKNO-FM

Great communicators speak in the simplest terms possible. Understanding is a product of clarity, and clarity comes from simplicity and the elimination of jargon.


Communicating clearly should be the principal objective of every executive, and for clarity, words matter.

A weakness of American business is a failure to learn the real meaning of words and to create jargon in their place. If you don't know the difference between leadership and management, for instance, you get brands without clear direction from a decisive leader, and you get a disorganized operation with sloppy management. 

If you think marketing is just another word for advertising and sales, then no one in the company will be responsible for marketing. No one who can assess the company's assets, the opportunities they create, and making sure they are deployed to the maximum. Instead, executives waste time adding to the mountain of business jargon that has only two purposes: to protect one's position and to keep out newcomers.

Every executive needs to communicate ideas clearly, so everyone hears the same thing without confusion or question. That means losing the jargon. There is no precision, no specificity to deep diving, boiling the ocean, or a helicopter view.

Great communicators speak in the simplest terms possible. Speak to be understood, not to impress. Understanding is a product of clarity, and clarity comes from simplicity and the elimination of jargon.

To ask Mr. Malmo your own marketing question, visit to http://askmalmo.com.