One of our oldest examples of laws are the 10 commandments. We could argue that these laws have served western societies well since they have been around for a long time and they are the basis for much of our common law. We could also argue that they are not too difficult to understand.
But can we do better?
Let us revisit the 10 commandments through the eyes of the late comedian George Carlin. Carlin, who was a master of words, suggested a replacement for the 10 commandments in hopes of assisting in its better understanding for all mankind.
His proposal has 2 commandments.
- Thou shalt be honest and faithful.
- Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone.
For the last few weeks I have been watching Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares”. Ramsey is a successful chef who runs successful restaurants. The premise of the show is to have Ramsey visit failing restaurants, make a review, give feedback, and re-launch the restaurant within a week. Typically, the restraunteur is tired, lacks focus, falls into bad habits, and needs a kick in the pants. Many have made complicated messes. Many forgot that a restaurant is a real business and they need to make money. Ramsey, who is Scottish and likes to swear, is the perfect man to give the tough love. Two things that always are given from Ramsey’s advice, once the basics are established, all restaurants must have simple menus and have clarity of what they do. There are no shorts cuts with him.
So, did Carlin’s proposal work in Ramsey’s model? It seems focused and easy to understand. I think Carlin did well with the spirit of the law.
As you start today, consider simplifying your presentations and ideas. Make it easy for your clients and customers to understand you and what you are offering. Try to focus on what you do best and seek to attract those who wish to have those products and services.