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  • Writer's pictureReuven Sherwin

The Rule of Three is Wrong!

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

One of the Golden rules of presentations - "The Rule of Three", sometimes referred to as "Good Things Come in Threes" - is so commonly used, that it is often abused.

Three Popsicles
Rule of Three... Popsicles

The "rule of three" is great when you want to tie three ideas together.

But as have been seen time and again, if you want to hammer in some idea - to align everyone behind a joint goal or target - the rule of three can be counter-productive, possibly even harmful.

If you tell your team "These are the top-3 most important items we need to work on" - then even if one is so much more important than the other two, it will be lost.

And if you have more than "top-3" - maybe even "top-7" (number 7 is rumored to be the number of items the human mind can comfortably juggle without losing orientation) - then the team will not know what is most important.

Because you really can have only one most-important thing to do.

So know what's most important, and repeat it (and repeat it and repeat it) until everyone knows what's most important...

Seagull in Norway - One and Only One
One and Only ONE

PS> After you know how to achieve and are full committed to the one most important thing, you can start discussing the others...

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