Don't bury the lead 2021-01-28 14:35:45

A lead is anything that someone needs to see and react to in order for progress to happen.

Important questions, key pieces of information, and unseen drafts are all examples of leads.

When we are not careful, we sometimes end up burying the lead. For example, we might put the lead in the middle: the middle of an e-mail, the middle of a your ad copy, or the middle of a report. When we put things in the middle of anything, we risk them not getting seen by the people we aim to serve which can leave us and the work uncomfortably thumb-twiddling at square one for an unknown period of time.

Alternatively, we can be intentional about putting the lead in obvious places: the subject line, the first sentence of a conversation that starts with “This is needed for progress to happen”, or perhaps in a list of bullet points at the top of a report that promises to communicate the essentials — the gist — of what needs to be known.

Making important things obvious to the people that need to to know them is an act of compassion that almost always make the mechanics of team work, value creation, and change-making better.

William Liao

Solid Versus Rigid Planning The perfect way is a myth
Not burying the lead in communicative content like work emails and documentation is so obvious and yet we still make that mistake.

In creative works like articles or novels we still shouldn't bury the lead. Creatives think that burying the lead will make their work better. They think that if they give up the lead too early then people won't read on. But this is paradox. It's actually giving up the lead right away that makes readers continue. And also it's giving up the lead right away that allows you the writer to have even more leads to write about going forward.
2021-01-28 16:20:32
The best example of not burying the lead is a set of books by Amanda Lovelace with titles like: "The princess saves herself in this one."
2021-01-28 17:18:09
This reminds me of the concept in psychology known as the primacy and recency effect where we tend to remember the first few and the last few of anything and lose track of all the stuff in the middle. Of course, it's a gamble to wait until the end for the big reveal in the attention economy.
2021-01-28 20:52:19
Brandon are you also familiar with the Peak End theory? It's how most of our impressions on an event/phase of life is mostly formed by the peak and the end. Details of the rest are blurred through time.
2021-01-29 04:31:55
brianball
that's awesome!

therealbrandonwilson
yes! I think it aligns well. 

Some back story: this post written in response to some frustration I experienced after I received an e-mail with an important question buried in - you guessed it - the middle of an e-mail. I missed it and suffice to say no one was feeling great about it haha. 
2021-01-29 21:25:33