3 Common Business Words That Should be Shot

3 Words Shot by Gun with Blood Splatter

“I need to manage my resources.” When referring to a team, this sentence should make our stomaches churn. Yet this phrase is uttered every day, by thousands of business executives, everywhere. Below are the three words that should be dragged out behind the woodshed and shot.

My / Mine

Unless you are a sole-proprietor with no investors, you own very little – if anything – in your organization. Instead, you are a steward of that money. You are responsible for those people. Next time, instead of “my” or “mine”, try these:

  • Our
  • The Company’s / Team’s / Group’s


People are not objects. You don’t own them. If you refer to someone as an object how do you expect them to respond? Yet somehow we always refer to people as resources (Human Resources, anyone?!). Instead of resources, try these:

  • People / Person
  • Team(s)


You lead people, you manage objects (time, money, inventory). Calling someone my manager also refers to me as something that must be managed. Again, you’ve dehumanized me.Instead of “Manager” try these:

  • Leader
  • Work Team Lead
  • Lead <role> (e.g. Lead Developer, Lead Accountant…)

The next time you think of using these terms, consider the alternatives above. You may find creative and energized people you can lead, rather than a group of owned, objects you must manage.

Question: What other common business words should be shot?

2017-05-25T20:18:46+00:00 Servant Leadership|1 Comment

About the Author:

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder ModernServantLeader.com – the leading blog on servant leadership and top 35 site for any leadership topic, globally. Ben also speaks and consults on IT and management topics for a large variety of clients. Find out more about him at https://ModernServantLeader.com.

One Comment

  1. Jeff August 17, 2014 at 12:00 am - Reply

    “At the end of the day….” (Unless, of course, you are actually using the phrase ‘at the end of’ the work day, and you are about to finish the sentence with …. “You did really good work today; great attention to detail; thanks for your ideas at today’s meeting. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.”

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