Garry Shutler


A key skill to master as a leader

June 17, 2024 · 2 min read

I believe one of the key skills you need to master as a leader is repetition. Repeat something often enough you are deathly bored by it, and you might have said it just enough.

But you shouldn’t just repeat any old thing. You need to curate what deserves repetition.

There’s a rich vein in repeating the obvious. What’s obvious to one person may not be obvious to another. A second rich vein is in initiatives. Shifting behaviour is a hard and slow process. You need to repeat the message to meet each person at the time it makes sense to them.

With each repetition you’ll get better at delivering the message. With repetition you’re increasing the number of people that truly hear you.

Through repetition you’re increasing the chances that the whole audience has heard the message at least once, at the right time.

Sometimes people need to encounter some context before it makes sense. By repetition you keep the topic top of mind to increase the chances to recognising appropriate context. By repetition you increase the chances of delivering the message once the appropriate context is fresh.

Some will understand you the first time. Some will understand you the second time with the extra anecdote. Some may understand on the third time when you drew a chart. Your fourth time might be the time that it clicks for someone else. That fourth time will be someone’s first.

Even then. Even once every person has truly heard your message, you still need to repeat it. People simply forget or return to old habits if you’re driving behavioural change.

So you need to repeat yourself. Again.








Then. Maybe. Perhaps. You’ll have said it enough.

But then you may as well say it one more time, just to be sure.

See also: Repetition.

Photo of Garry Shutler

Hey, Iā€™m Garry Shutler

CTO and co-founder of Cronofy.

Husband, father, and cyclist. Proponent of the Oxford comma.