While performing my customary, early-morning iPad scan of the more than 500 blogs I subscribe to (yikes!), I found a little gem nestled among the usual primaries-mortgages-Facebook IPO-winter weather stuff: The Two Things.
The article’s bottom line is “For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.” The author, an economist, goes on to say that whenever he meets someone who belongs to a different profession or who knows something about a subject with which he is unfamiliar, he poses the Two Things question. Over time, he’s accumulated quite a compendium of Two Things. Here’s just a brief sampling of some of my favorites:
The Two Things about Project Management:
1. The schedule will slip.
2. It’s about how you manage the schedule slippage.
The Two Things about Trading
1. Buy low.
2. Sell high.
The Two Things about Marketing:
1. Know existing customers.
2. Recruit more of those customers.
The Two Things about Teaching History:
1. A good story is all they’ll remember, not the half-hour of analysis on either side of it.
2. They think it’s about answers, but it’s really about the questions.
The Two Things about Medicine:
1. Do no harm.
2. To do any good, you must risk doing harm.
The Two Things about Being a Journalist:
1. There is no such thing as objectivity.
2. The end of the story is based on your deadline.
Jennifer and I would add:
The Two Things about being a non-profit trade association manager:
1. Our members: your success is our business.
2. Our members: retention trumps recruitment every time.
Would love to hear your thoughts . . . what are YOUR two things?