I had three follow up strategy meetings in three consecutive days with three companies. Two went well, the last one was fine, but it wasn’t the same because of two words. I and me.
As a leader your choice of words are important as everything you say carries weight with your employees, clients, partners, and vendors. One quick way to disengage your staff is to act like it’s ALL coming from you. The words, I and me show that. Not in normal conversation but when talking in meetings, especially when the topics are about credit, ideas, and direction.
The reason why I decided to focus on manufacturing was because …
The reason why WE decided to focus on manufacturing was because …
One word but a totally different meaning to everyone listening. Yes, you made the decision to go in new direction but how many people researched, reported, recommended, and budgeted to get you to that decision?
Sometimes this is habit. Founders or companies that started in a garage have a leader where “I” was true for a long time. It’s a habit and it’s tough to break. But, it’s necessary as the business grows.
The other part is ego. “I want the credit. I want the kudos. I want everyone to think or know I’m smart.” Stop it. This has the opposite effect.
Every rule has its exception. The exception to this rule is when it comes to taking heat. As a leader, “I” take the heat. “We” win.
Bottom Line: It’s a choice between 4 words but it makes a giant difference creating a healthy culture and being a true leader with your team.