Well Done vs Well Said

“Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin “

In consulting (and law and finance), “well said” is important. Well said wins you cases, assignments and awards. Well said compels the right people to want more. Well said is a critical skill.

But well said is only the beginning.

It’s the “well done” that truly matters. Well done produces change that sticks for your clients. Well done is the hard work: preparation, focus and execution. Well done builds your reputation and makes your career.

The sheer number of media outlets (and lots of noisy competitors) encourages us to say more. Resist. Let’s focus instead on saying less (but well) and doing more.

Let well done be our scorecard.


  • We are judged more by what we have accomplished than by the things we say we can do.

    Well said only works if the job gets completed. Well done shows an accomplishment.

  • Hey Rochelle,

    This is a great point. I knew an old pastor who used to say, “After all is said and done, more’s been said than done.” All talk and no action=all hat; no cattle. 😉

    Let me ask you a question… what do you think about the adage, “the squeaky wheel get’s the grease?” Do ‘more talkers’ get others to meet their needs while they, themselves do less?

    Love your emails!


    Steven Blanton

  • Yes, at the end of the day, the result matters.
    It remains important to know what the result is going into a project or engagement. Very important to discuss that with the client.
    Sometimes it may not be a traditional win or avoiding a defeat. The well-done might be attention gained which might be confused by some as a well-said. Other times the well-done may need to remain unpublicized; as long as the client knows, why care.
    As to media outlets and noise and chatter, the landscape continues to change so it remains important to follow it enough to know what to expect and demand of a media pro.

  • Tom, Steve and Corey,
    Thank you for such on-point (and fast) comments! “All hat; no cattle” indeed–exactly what we all want to avoid.

    Corey, you are exactly right–we have to keep watching the media and adapt or be trampled. Soloists in particular can’t afford to be blase or stick their heads in the sand….

  • Richard Clayman

    Well said. And well done.

  • So true Jim….and thanks Richard 🙂

  • Bob Greene

    Saw an E! headline crawl last night that talked about a “Celebrity” recently injured and how this other celebrity and that other celebrity tweeted their thoughts and prayers to him. Does anyone else see an awful lot of unintended irony there? First of all, years ago, before the age of Twits and Tweets it would have been this celebrity and that celebrity rushing to his bedside to comfort him. Or sent flowers. Or a (and here’s an anachronism) telegram. Now they can literally just “phone it in.”

    Second, is a tweet really primarily intended to comfort the injured party or is it the publicity effect. In other words, if a condolence tweet fell in the forest and no one other than the recipient were there to hear it, would the sender still bother? Anyone else see some degree of irony in “sincere sympathies parsed at 256 bytes at a time?”

  • Interesting commentary Bob. And what about we non-celebrities? Do we post INSTEAD of connecting in real life? Ideally, it is both, but with what frequency does that happen? Hmmmm…

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