4-Step Instructions (memos)

  • No instructions should have more than 4 steps.
    • If it has many steps (to follow), find the significant 4 that keep the other actions in alignment.
  • Give “enough” freedom to the team to develop their own ideas to improve the process while preserving the “four steps” that keep the standard and outcomes in line and prevent things from going wrong or bad.
P.S. 4 Steps to write an efficient memo
(1) Write/draft your instructions as action-steps, 
(2) Rewrite them for utmost clarity and simplicity, 
(3) Rephrase the sentences to make every step unambiguous and connected (adopt 3rd person's view or ask for feedback, if needed), and 
(4) Repeat steps (2) and (3) until you make the instructions as short as possible.

Yes, and …

When you have to reject say NO to an idea but to keep up the spirit, creativity, and integrity of your team while shaping a better decisions then start your reply with the words “Yes, but and…”.

““Yes, and” is a foundational improv technique, but it’s also a practical philosophy for generating ideas and building relationships.”

Dina Smith, How Leaders Can Escape Their Echo Chambers

Effective Meeting = 3 things, exactly 3 times, in 3 different ways

Whether it is a team meeting or one-to-one. List all the things you wanted to share arrange them (move small items as a sub-task to primary agenda item), then order them priority-wise, and now share only the first three things in that meeting. Repeat them thrice in three different ways.


  • Reduces ambiguity on instructions or ideas shared.
  • High signal-to-noise ratio in your meetings.
  • Saves everyone’s time

P.S. Remaining things on the list may wait for the next meeting.