Slamming together Vital Speeches of the Day the other day, I wasn't sure whether I had or hadn't inserted a George Allen speech into the final document, so I searched for "Allen." Allen was there—but what the search also turned up in the month's dozen speeches, 42 uses of the term chALLENges.
The entire document is 40,000 words, so I did the math and found that "challenges" makes up almost one percent of the words in these speeches.
A wicked smirk pulling on my cheek, I did a similar search for "opportunities." Nineteen. So about 1.5% of the words in the best speeches in the world are either "challenge" or "opportunity."
As for why so many challenges and relatively fewer opportunties? Hey, these are tough times indeed.
But I wonder if I didn't just stumble into a new measure of overall well-being. Mulling over a monthly Vital Speeches Leadership Confidence Index ….
Today the Dow Jones was is up 100 points on higher-than-expected Leadership Confidence Index figures. Vital Speeches of the Day reports that this month in speeches delivered by public- and private-sector leaders, "challenges" outpaced "opportunities" by only 15 percent, the lowest number since Vital Speeches started keeping records, back in September of 2010 ….
James Green says
Too many challenges has always presented a problem for me.
Dan Danbom says
I worked for an electric utility once that had persistent problems getting a nuclear power plant to work. The edict came down that we would not use “problems” and instead use “opportunities.” So we said about the plant that it had insurmountable opportunities.
Tyler Hayes says