How I Work

HBR's Executive Editor Sarah Green Carmichael on how to be a better writer

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Episode notes

My guest today is Sarah Green Carmichael. Sarah is an executive editor at Harvard Business Review where she works out what to publish on the site and edits the articles that you may have read there. Sarah is also the host of HBR’s IdeaCast podcast which gets over one million downloads every month.

I was very excited to speak to Sarah as I am a voracious HBR reader and given the amount of ideas and tips she is exposed to on a daily basis given her role, I was very keen to explore what she had applied in her own life. We cover a heap of ground in this interview, including:

  • The best pieces of advice Sarah has learnt from editing HBR articles and books for six years
  • Her approach to managing emails
  • Sarah’s strategy for making work days easier to start
  • The classic productivity tips that failed for Sarah
  • Her approach to decision-making, and where she has got it wrong
  • How she prepares for her interviews on the HBR IdeaCast podcast
  • How to read a business book in under 30 minutes
  • When "winging it" can be a great productivity strategy
  • How she deals with interviewing people she doesn’t like or agree with
  • Sarah’s top tips for being a better writer and editor
  • How she wards off distractions to get focused work done
  • How to write a great rejection letter

And much, much more.

Find Sarah on Twitter, or check out her interviews on the HBR IdeaCast podcast, and HBR’s Women at Work podcast.

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