Captain’s log, stardate 20230320

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Clever

What’s the definition of the word clever?

Here’s what Google has to say:

Clever—quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; intelligent.

So it sounds like being clever is a good thing, right?

Well, it depends on what type of reaction you’re going for in a given situation.

For example:

If I tell you a joke, I want you to respond by doubling over in laughter.

If, instead, you exclaim, “Clever!” it might make me feel smart, but the joke has failed.

If I play a beat for you, I want you to respond by dancing like a maniac.

If, instead, you exclaim, “Clever!” it might make me feel smart, but the beat has failed.

If I present you with an offer, I want you to respond by throwing money at me (or introducing me to someone who will).

If, instead, you exclaim, “Clever!” it might make me feel smart, but the offer has failed.

Here’s the thing...

As consultants, a big part of our job is to come up with clever solutions that help our clients transform their businesses in ways they found impossible to do on their own.

But when it comes to your positioning, “Clever!” is not the reaction you’re looking for.

Yours,

—J

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