Articulate people—the Articulates– tend to be wealthy and happy. They enjoy rewarding careers and relationships.

Although that isn’t always true, that’s the way to bet.

So, assuming that you want to be wealthy and happy—or wealthier and happier as the case may be—you first need to know the distinguishing traits and behaviors of Articulates.

First, Articulates know that being understood is a luxury beyond price; it is fundamental necessity for their social and financial success, and the visibility of their organizations. Therefore, they express, whether in writing or speaking, ideas, thoughts, policies, directives, and so on coherently, clearly, distinctly, and succinctly. Readers and listeners get the point and know how to react. They are not misled.Communication is the Key

Second, Articulates know that a large vocabulary is the essential platform for success, and that vocabulary allows them to connect ideas (most of us think primarily in words, secondarily in visuals and numbers), better understand the situation, make constructive and beneficial decisions, and communicate to others more clearly and persuasively. Everybody wins.

Third, Articulates apply the five behaviors and abilities of CLOWT: Compartmentalize (the ability to concentrate on the current topic); Listen (the ability to understand what others are writing and saying); Organize (the ability to create larger abstractions from details); Write (the ability to create clear, concise, on-point documents); and Test (the willingness and ability to evaluate the effectiveness of every communication).


 Knowledge is power is a dangerous half truth. Actually, knowledge can be power only if it can be expressed in ways that other people can understand it. I say that knowing full well that I am sparring fearlessly with such classic thinkers as Francis Bacon, who perhaps was the first, in 1597, to write knowledge is power. I’m also taking on Samuel Johnson, who said sometime in the mid 1700s, that knowledge is more that equivalent to force. By the way, Francis and Sam were terrific writers who should have known that they were fooling and misleading us with incomplete thoughts.