10 Ways to Cut to the Chase and Get Stuff Done

You grow quiet when someone with more power is in the room. You blab when you’re perceived as the big cheese. How many times have you wished the boss would just shut up?

Leaders can’t wait for you to shut up, either. Ever feel like you’re just an inconvenience?


Overall, there’s too much talk and not enough “do” in organizations.

Anyone who leaves a meeting without something to do, shouldn’t have been there in the first place, even if it’s just to monitor and fuel the success of others.

Use email to inform – talk to decide.

Successful leaders cut to the chase. Leadership conversations that don’t accomplish something give the dangerous illusion that something actually got done.

5 questions before you open your mouth:

  1. What am I trying to accomplish?
  2. What can we do – now – that matters most?
  3. How can we do what matters most?
  4. Who needs to do be involved?
  5. What’s the deadline?

3 reasons to talk:

  1. To understand.
  2. Make something better.
  3. Move the agenda forward.

The purpose of talk is making decisions not more talking.

Talk to make decisions or don’t talk.

10 questions that cut to the chase:

  1. What would you like to happen?
  2. What would you like from me?
  3. What were you trying to sell?
  4. What happens if we follow the path you just described?
  5. What possible responses to what you just said seem appropriate?
  6. What makes you say that?
  7. How can we move forward?
  8. What’s next?
  9. What problem are you solving?
  10. How is this connected to what matters now?

Bonus: Before you say anything else, what are you prepared to do about this?

Hold people accountable for their words.

But you ask:

“What about talking to socialize?”

“I can’t talk about that right now. Let’s socialize while we get something done.”

What prevents leaders from cutting to the chase?

How can leaders cut to the chase?