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David Girouard, CEO of Upstart, explores the writing habits of one of the world’s most effective, inspirational leaders, the United Kingdom’s World War II prime minister Winston Churchill, and passes on evergreen tips gleaned from a tough composition class. His recommendations will help you – and the people on your team – improve your writing. Aim for writing that hits the bulls-eye as part of your entrepreneurial approach to getting things done.


Effective writing is a “high-leverage tool” for leaders. The larger your organization, the more important your writing skills become.

When people think of entrepreneurs, they think of vision, grit and the ability to execute. Rarely do they think of persuasive, effective writing. But emphasizing writing skills throughout your organization can improve execution and boost your bottom line.

Ineffective writing obscures logic, leads to misunderstandings and can harm your credibility – and that’s only if you can get people to read what you write in the first place.

Winston Churchill delivered powerful and inspiring speeches during WWII. He used simple language and relied on strong verbs.

Short, easily understood words are more effective than fancy multi-syllabic words. Aim for simple prose that a fifth grader could understand; that’s what Winston...

About the Author

David Girouard, the past president of Google Apps, is the CEO of Upstart, an online lending platform.

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