There are many ways to kill a business. Lack of strategy, poor execution, and the wrong team could lead any business down a path of failure, but did you know there are two very specific phrases that can kill any business, including yours?
Whether you or an employee has said one of these phrases out loud or simply allowed them to enter your thoughts, they can spell impending doom for your business.
Have you thought or said one of the business-killing phrases discussed below in the past?
1. We’ve Tried that Before.
Just because you’ve tried something before and failed doesn’t mean it was a bad idea. In fact, if the idea keeps popping up, it warrants investigation.
Why did it fail? Can you do it better this time? Has the micro- or macro-environment changed in such a way that the idea could work today even though it failed in the past? These are the questions a good leader should ask, and employees should answer them through today’s business lens, not the clouded lens of the past.
2. This is How We’ve Always Done It.
People don’t like change. There is no way around that, so it’s up to you as the leader to encourage your team to embrace change by helping them navigate change successfully.
Making change simply for the sake of making change isn’t a good business decision, so you need to ensure that your employees understand why changes need to happen. Otherwise, they’ll wonder, “What’s wrong with the way we’ve been doing things?” They could perceive your desire to make changes as an insult to their skills, experiences, and knowledge.
It’s highly unlikely that employees will instantly jump on board and support changes. It’s up to you as the leader to set the right expectations and create the right perceptions.
Eliminating Business-Killing Phrases Starts with Leadership
A great leader knows how to educate and motivate employees so past experiences don’t become future obstacles. Instead, past experiences become lessons that can be leveraged to make things better and ensure future success.
Eliminate the two phrases discussed above from your thoughts, teach your employees to do the same, and your business will have a much better chance for success.
Originally published 1/18/15. Updated 1/20/19.