6 Stock Expressions Every Leader Should Stop Using

6 Stock Expressions Every Leader Should Stop Using

You say things every day as leaders that work against you, not for you.

Have a look at the list below, and you’ll immediately recognize that you probably say some (or all) of these things without even realizing it. They’re almost verbal ticks in our culture. They’re stock expressions that everyone uses and nobody should.

Even if you don’t really mean anything by them, these statements undermine your effectiveness as a leader.

So why do little phrases matter to your leadership?

Two reasons.

First, what we say reflects what we believe. Especially the little phrases that slip out without giving them much thought. They expose convictions that are worth letting go.

Second, they matter because each of these six phrases I’m sharing with you is a lie—not in the horrible moral sense, but in the sense that they’re actually not true.

Of all the lies we tell, the lies we tell ourselves are the most deadly because they follow us everywhere we go in life and leadership.

Thoughtfully choosing your words about how you handle time is one small step out of the spin of constant busyness and low productivity that kills both your leadership and your life.

I’ve tried to eliminate all of these phrases over the years. It’s hard because they roll off the tongue so naturally. But I think I’ve become a better leader, husband and dad as a result.

With that in mind, here are six stock expressions everyone uses, and every leader should eliminate.

1. I Didn’t Get a Chance To…

It’s so easy to say you didn’t get a chance to do something.

You didn’t get a chance to get that report done, or write that email you promised someone, or empty the dishwasher.

Well, yes you did. You had the chance.

Actually, you had the chance to do whatever you said you didn’t get a chance to do. You just didn’t take it.

Imagine what might happen if you started admitting to yourself that you had all the chances in the world to do whatever you needed to do…you just didn’t take them.

A little sobering. But a little liberating too.

Hours and minutes don’t discriminate. They let you do whatever you decide to do.

You just didn’t decide to do it.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.

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