Vicki T. Gibbs
Writer and Editor

Selected Works

More Time for Sex: The Organizing Guide for Busy Couples
“Fun to read and filled with real-life examples … every page crammed with tips…”
--Copley News Service
Leading from the Zone: How Authentic Leaders Achieve Exceptional Results
A book about “playing to win,” yet always doing the right thing regardless of the risks.
How to Write Like an Executive
Learn to apply your skills to all kinds of business writing, including letters, proposals, and memos.
From Victim to Victor: A Step-By-Step Guide For Ending The Nightmare Of Identity Theft
"With this new edition of From Victim to Victor..., Mari once again provides an excellent guide to help victims of identity theft regain their good name and peace of mind." U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
Safeguard Your Identity: Protect Yourself With A Personal Privacy Audit
"Safeguard Your Identity is the most concisely written and useful protection against the growing scourge of our time. It is well organized and reader friendly, allowing you to benefit from Mari Frank's pioneering work." -- Evan Hendricks, author of "Credit Scores and Credit Reports."
Among Equals: A Memoir- The Rise of IBM’s First Woman Corporate Vice President
"Like those brave soldiers on the battlefield, Leach approached her career with a fearlessness that is evident in her writing. She tells poignant and sometimes amusing stories of what her life was like then...It's a story of innovation, not only in business, but also in business ethics and attitudes." ForeWord Magazine

How to Write Like an Executive

by Patricia H. Westheimer and Vicki Townsend Gibbs

Bad writing is expensive.
People who write poorly pay the price in missed promotions and denied raises. Companies lose thousands of dollars each year on the countless hours their employees waste struggling with simple writing tasks and trying to decipher the poorly written memos and reports of other employees. Plus, miscommunication through bad writing can cost companies lucrative contracts and may even result in threats of legal action.

An article by William E. Blundell in The Wall Street Journal (August 28, 1980) told the following horror stories about the cost of bad writing.

A few years ago an oil company chemicals unit spent a bundle reinventing from scratch a selective pesticide one of its own researchers had found five years before; he’d buried the news 25 pages deep in a hopeless gumbo of report prose that no one apparently could get through.

But, the most memorable story of miscommunication was this one:

… a single hyphen omitted [on an order form] by a supervisor at a government-run nuclear installation may hold the cost record for punctuation goofs. He ordered rods of radioactive material cut into “ten foot long lengths”; he got ten pieces, each a foot long, instead of the ten-foot lengths required.

According to the article, the loss on this mistake was so great that the report on the blunder was “classified.”
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