There’s a pesky pronoun out there that leaders need to be contstantly aware of.
It’s a slippery one because it’s so short and sweet.
It’s pesky because of the messages it sends to those who hear it.
It could be simple.
“It’s about me”
Or a mixed message.
“Well, it could be about you too, but how could you know, given the use of this particular pronoun”
Or, a message with absolutely no ambiguity.
“Hey ,it’s ALL about me, and don’t you forget it!”
All because of one pronoun.
It’s truly the least important word, by far, for any leader.
Why? It can put up a wall between the leader and team.
It’s exclusive, and not inclusive.
It’s a morale killer.
And here’s the really pesky thing about it – it can certainly do all that by improperly using it, but it can also do a lot of damage by NOT using it.
“YOU are all at fault”
This conclusion of least importance was drawn from specific experience – every time this author chose to increase the use of the pronoun, even in his own private thinking, the leadership suffered. It was too much about me, and not enough about them.
Leadership isn’t about an individual. It’s about a team. A community joined for a common purpose, for a cause greater than themselves.
(Yes, this even applies to solopreneurs, because there are people they need to help them be successful).
The team, and community, sinks or swims – together.
One can’t succeed without the other.
So a leader needs to send that message constantly and consistently. And this pronoun can really mess it up, if the leader isn’t careful.
One letter, one word.
After you read this post, take stock of your own use of the least important word.
And next week , let’s talk about the most important word. It’s another pronoun, two letters.
It’s not pesky at all.
(Illustration from Bigstock)