By Rick Melmer – Leadership Coach
Our Leadership South Dakota group had the pleasure of hearing Chief Justice David Gilbertson speak. He is a humble leader who delivered an interesting session on the inner-workings of the South Dakota Supreme Court. As you can imagine, many in the class, including me, did not have a good understanding of our state’s highest court.
While the Chief Justice left us with many important points to ponder, I was surprised to hear that when the Court chose a case for an oral argument, the participating attorneys (prosecutor and defendant) had only 20 minutes to argue their positions. 20 minutes! He mentioned that in that short time, the attorneys needed to have their presentation simplified to answer one simple question; “What is the ONE THING that I want the Court to know about my client’s position?
I thought a lot about that after our session. As leaders we should have the same mentality as we approach our leadership responsibilities. When we hold a meeting, conduct an interview, have an important conversation or make a presentation to a client, we should be able to boil our focus down to the singular objective that we want to accomplish.
- At the conclusion of this meeting, what do I want my staff or colleagues to know and understand?
- At the conclusion of this conversation with my colleague, what is the most important message I want to send?
- At the end of my presentation, what do I want my client to remember?
- OR at the end of my time with my son/daughter/spouse, what do I want them to know about my feelings for them?
20 minutes with a singular purpose in mind. If we adopted that approach to our interactions at work and at home, would our communication be sharper? Would our intentions be better understood by others? Would our colleagues understand what is important to us?