Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones to Staff: Learn to Write or I'll Rip Up Your Memo
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has some surprising advice for people who want to succeed in business: Take a journalism class.
In a video interview with Bloomberg GO, Jones told Bloomberg that companies save money when their executives write logically and coherently, and he said that taking a class in newspaper writing is the best way to learn to do that.
"You learn how to write in a hierarchical way," said Jones. He advises his staff to take an introductory newspaper writing class to improve memos and reports.
Jones founded asset management firm Tudor Investment, a hedge fund that manages $14 billion, in 1980. Jones is also known for having co-founded the Robin Hood Foundation, a philanthropic outfit that has raised more than $1 billion to fight poverty in New York.
Jones warns against confusing newspaper writing with magazine writing. The latter, according to Jones, offers stories whose climax comes at the end. "Every time I get a memo from someone written magazine style, I literally tear it up, throw it away and make them take an online newspaper writing course," he said.
Jones says writing as a newspaper journalist does can help someone become a better problem-solver because it requires synthesizing a complex problem. Writing clearly to a peer can help an employee get to the heart of a problem and find a solution faster.
"Today, in business, time is money," said Jones. "When you've got hundreds of decisions to make every week—dozens every day—being able to see, think and understand what the issue is in the first couple of paragraphs is actually paramount to being efficient at what you do."
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