Podcast host Elizabeth Bachman asked me an excellent question today.

Why do leaders rework papers at night and weekends?

The short answer is that reviewing dense drafts takes thinking time, and such time is hard to find during regular hours.

Let’s unpack how that works, why it matters and what to do about it.

I began by asking Elizabeth what she does after opening a dense email from someone.

Her answer was simple. 


“I take one look, realise it’s too much and park it for later … .”


In other words, it is too hard to read.

Yet, leaders regularly find themselves making sense of dense drafts on behalf of their teams.

And this often happens at night and on weekends.

There is not enough ‘thinking time’ during the day.

It is also signals that both leader and team are working at least one level below their pay grade.

Here’s the alternative.

  • Start you and your team thinking early about the very specific outcome you need from your communication.
  • Set yourselves up to iterate on the high-level messaging so you can easily ‘see’ and iterate on the message.
  • Don't prepare the actual paper or presentation until you are (mostly!) clear on the messaging.

The conversation with Elizabeth will be out in the middle of the year, but you can catch the key ideas in my latest episode of Cutting Through.

Dan Musson and I discuss how to get out of the quagmire that can be preparing papers for leaders and boards.

You’ll love it.

Check it out here on my book info page, or on your favourite podcast player.

I hope that helps. More soon.




My new book, Elevate, is now on Amazon

Elevate helps leaders set their teams up to prepare papers and presentations that they don't need to rework.

Dan and I talk about it during the podcast episode I mentioned above.

>> Learn more here.

PS – Order during May for 6 months' free access to the Clarity Hub.