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The Forbidden Phrase

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If you are a leader in any capacity, I am guessing you have used the phrase “Our/My people won’t…” “My people won’t work/sell like I want them to work/sell.” Other similar phrases might include “the manager refuses to…, our sales team just doesn’t…, and my kids won’t...” I am just as guilty as the next person.

         This is the forbidden phrase. In that moment we are casting blame on people for something they haven’t been shown. I think great leaders don’t give blame, they accept blame. When the head coach wins, it was a team win. When the team loses, it is the coaches’ fault. That is why they fire the coach and not all of the players. The leader is responsible. Instead of casting blame we cast vision. Instead of saying, “our people won’t…” we turn that phrase upside down and say “I haven’t led to them to…”

         Part of casting a vision for a business or organization is showing the people why they need to care about what you care about. Leaders lead people and move them toward a desired action. If you want to see the greatest example in history, look no further than Jesus. He led by example and literally practiced what He preached. He showed 12 men how to live like He did and it totally transformed the whole world. Most of them even died brutal deaths like Jesus.

         My pastor, Teddy B, and I were talking recently about “why” and the importance of finding one’s “why.” He said that when people lose their why they lose their way. Brilliant! When I have my why, all of the other noise in my life begins to be drowned out because I know where I’m going. I have a why that directs my life.

Here are two questions to think about:

  • What is your why? (Your why has to be more than a result. Making a profit is a result. That is a superficial )
  • What is the number one excuse you are making about your people?

Much of this content was provided by a leadership podcast by Craig Groeschel.

Posted by Clayton Havelka with