We have heard it many times before, our words have power.  We see it in the world of advertising and politics, but do we really consider our words when we are in our personal leadership roles?  As a Boss we must remain aware of the words we use and how they impact our self image and perception by others.  Think about how often you say the following phrases:


  • “I DON’T KNOW”

This isn’t to suggest you are supposed to know everything about everything, however when your initial response to someone seeking your input is “I don’t know”- it shows a sign of inadequacy.  Yup- I know that no one is perfect or always prepared, but in moments when people are coming to you for solutions, you don’t want your first response to be “I don’t know” because that disqualifies you for being a resource.  You must be intentional on the way you answer the question.  Alternative responses can include-” You know who’s really great at that? Rachel, I will give you her info”.  This allows you to support your position as a Boss and provide direction for the best information source if that is not your area of leadership.  You always want to speak from a place of strength, and confidence- saying “I don’t know” does not reflect those character traits.

  • “I CAN’T”

This is a classic and it is more of an internal declaration you want to avoid, as opposed to how you are perceived by others.  One thing that helps you stand out in a crowd is confidence, it is one of those qualities that will help you rise to the top.  When you believe in yourself, others will believe in you as well.  When you say, “I can’t”, that’s you saying to yourself that you don’t believe in yourself.  Saying “I can’t “is declaring that it is impossible for you to “be”. This is a lie we tell ourselves at times when we feel fear and doubt in our abilities.  The road to success is different for each if us, however possibility lives in our belief.  If you believe your can- you can.  It’s just that simple.  It takes work, but it is possible. Some things require more work than others, yet it is all possible.  So, as a Boss, recognize the moments when we doubt ourselves by saying “I can’t”, use that moment to ask yourself “what will it take to make this possible?’  A simple shift in words brings life and intentions to a seemingly impossible situation.

  • “I’LL TRY”

When you are asked to commit to an event or task, we must speak with integrity and clarity.  Saying “I’ll try” is a cop out- because it really means no.  We say I’ll try to hide from the responsibility of disappointing others or yourself when you do not perform as expected.  Try is not a word that should be in the vocabulary of a Boss- you must be clear, and you must bring clarity to those that you are leading.  Using words such as “I’ll try”, “I can’t”, or “I don’t know” – it’s not a reflection of strength, empowerment, or confidence.  This prevents people from seeing your clearly as a leader.

  • “I FAILED’

I must give the disclaimer that I believe that there is only one path to true failure– To stop putting forth effort towards a goal.  To me, the only way to fail is to stop working towards success.  This is a big topic, (more than I can cover in this post) but I will give a concise explanation based on my theory of failure.

When situations do not produce the expected results, it is not a failure of the person, it is the result of using an ineffective strategy.  It took Thomas Edison, hundreds of attempts before getting the lightbulb to work.  He consistently changes his strategy until he reached a functioning product.  That’s what build success, the ability to shift strategy and continue your road to achievement.  Oprah had to change her strategy numerous times before her television network found success.  The bottom line is a Boss never fails- strategies fail, Bosses adjust.


  • “I QUIT”

A Boss doesn’t quit.  Quitting is an immature solution to a challenge. Because it’ an emotional decision.  When you are in a position of leadership, you don’t want to make decisions based upon emotion.  Making permanent decisions based on temporary feelings is defiantly not a BOSS MOVE. It’s not to say you do not have these feelings of frustration and other emotions, however, as a BOSS you do not let those emotions lead you- we are winners and winners never quit.  So, when you are facing a challenge and massive emotions arise, take a break.  The difference between quitting and taking a break is all in the purpose.  Taking a break is just that, taking an emotional break, clearing your head and coming back to the issue from a new perspective.  When a Boss decided that a situation is no longer worth the effort, that is an intellectual decision, not an emotional tantrum.  There will be times when the effort is not worth the results- this is a decision based on a full analysis of the situation, emotions are not the leading factor.  A Boss does not quit, a Boss withdrawals additional investment of her resources.

As a Boss, our role is to lead, bring clarity and confidence into situations.  The words we use can build strong companies, organizations, and communities.  Choose your words wisely, speak with integrity and dignity for yourself and those who follow you- SPEAK LIKE A BOSS.


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Author: TC_Coleman

Founder of Boss Moves International

2 thoughts on “SPEAK LIKE A BOSS

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