By Akram Sabbagh
Words. We use so may of them every day. In fact, on average, a person is said to use between 7,000 to 20,000 words daily!
So we can be excused for not paying attention to each and every one of them.
The power of words is in their interpretation, and the context in which they are said or written. Words are like keys that can unlock a world of opportunity, or shut the door to possibilities.
Each word has its own personality and its own energy and when we combine them, we create a world of meaning. Put together one way, just two words can be passive – Performance Management. Swap them around and they become active – Manage Performance.
With so many words every day, meanings are interpreted for granted, accepted as ‘the truth’ or just the ‘way it is.’
With this in mind, it is argued that words can dictate our beliefs and frame of reference for the universes we create for ourselves. Being mindful of this can be incredibly liberating and empowering.
I was reminded of this very recently when working with a client. I’d worked with the owners for some years, and they have built a fantastic business which is no longer reliant on them. It is a business run under management, allowing the owners to have a balanced life, go to their kids’ sports carnivals, take holidays without a need to “check in” or intervene, play a strategic rather than operational role, etc.
Heaven! Nirvana, for most business owners.
But these guys were feeling disillusioned and frustrated. “We have a business run under management, so why do we feel this way?”
At the heart of their frustration was one word in the statement above. That word held an energy that wasn’t working for them.
The owners are entrepreneurs by nature. They love the cut and thrust of business; developing it, building it, connecting with clients, helping their staff to grow professionally, etc.
In a word – they are passionate about growing a business.
So in reality, having a business that “runs” under management is hugely different to one that “grows” under management.
Different energy, context and focus. Once the owners got this distinction, a world of opportunity opened up for them. They immediately saw both the ‘runners’ within the business – essential to maintaining and managing it, and the ‘growers’ within the business – essential for building and leading the next stage of development.
They also got the power of accepting the ‘and’ word. That their business needs runners AND growers to really thrive.
One word shifted the energy, focus and strategic thinking for the entire business, the directors, staff and clients.
What word or words are you using? Are you aware and conscious of their impact on you and your world?
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