The Business Phrases You Need To Avoid At All Costs

on December 28, 2017
Business owners and employees must believe their companies can achieve anything they envision. Avoid these 3 toxic phrases if you want to grow.
The single most powerful tool in a business owner’s toolbox, which can either harm or help their businesses, is their mindset. Especially in the hardest times, leaders must firmly hold onto their belief that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.

One of my favorite mantras by Tony Robbins is “It is not a lack of resources that holds us back, but rather a lack of resourcefulness.” Resources are external elements that we may or may not acquire. Resourcefulness is an internal resource that we can activate at any time.

When we are unsure of our ability to move forward or to break through a barrier, our natural reaction is often fear and self-doubt, which then leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy of struggle.

Instead, we must train ourselves to be acutely aware of the messages we tell ourselves when our backs are up against the wall, and change the internal messaging that will impact our next move.

Because of our history, or perhaps because we were raised in an environment that generated self-limiting beliefs, we often play negative tapes in our heads. To quote Yoda in his infamous motivational speech to Luke Skywalker, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

There are 3 phases that can undermine even the most successful leader or company. They represent the most dangerous mindset: the mindset that there are no more options. Once a business owner believes this, the end of growth is in sight.

Death Mindset #1: “We’ve Always Done it That Way.”

“That’s the way we’ve always done it.’   This is the one thing that will get you fired from Under Armour.

Kevin Plank is committed to building a fearless and aggressive culture, which leaves no room for stale thinking and complacency.

Once a leader or employee adapts this mindset, they have closed their minds to seeing things differently.

There are many ways to combat complacency, including:

  • Moving upmarket
  • Expanding capabilities
  • Expanding into additional markets
  • Leveraging past work to go deeper into an existing market
  • Creating new incentives for your employees
  • Training employees in new skills

Rather than saying, “We’ve always done it that way,” ask, “What are some new ways we can approach this challenge or opportunity?”

Death Mindset #2: “It’s Not My Job.”

Today’s environment requires an all-hands-on-deck mindset across the organization, and a shared belief that the success of the company is everyone’s responsibility.

The lines between organizational functions are increasingly blurred. Sales, marketing, and HR are fully intertwined and interdependent. A sales team can’t be effective without strong marketing across all platforms (digital, print, web), and an HR team can’t effectively recruit without strong marketing and messaging. The days of segregated functions are over.

When Successful Culture develops the values, mission, and vision for our clients, the final phase of our work is implementation which includes a half-day session in which we educate employees on the concept of “shared responsibility” to live the values.

Values don’t solely reside with the leadership. Employees across the company must commit to the behaviors behind the values and adapt the mindset that success is everyone’s job.

Rather than saying, “It’s not my job,” ask, “What can I do to support you?” Or, “How can we solve this together?”

Death Mindset #3: “We Can’t.”

Steve Jobs was known for his refusal to accept the concept of impossible.

Elon Musk launched Tesla and SpaceX intending to fail, with the goal of simply moving the ball of progress forward. Regarding Tesla, he shared, “I thought we would most likely fail. But I thought that we at least could address the false perception people have that an electric car had to be ugly and slow and boring like a golf cart.”

Jeff Bezos not only tolerates failure at Amazon; he expects it and encourages it. “Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right,” he shared in a recent shareholder letter.

Mark Zuckerberg has no fear of failure. “If you’re successful, most of the things you’ve done were wrong…What ends up mattering is the stuff you get right.”

Reverting back to Tony Robbins’ mantra on resourcefulness, and Henry Fords’ wisdom, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Rather than saying, “We can’t,” ask, “How can we make this happen?” Or, “What else is possible?”

Success Starts in the Mind

The most powerful aspect of our leadership is our mindset. It determines how we show up for our employees, our customers, and ourselves in times of success and struggle. The most wonderful thing about mindset is that we have the power to shift it at any moment – even right now as you read this.