Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Lesson #345: Swap 'I' for 'We' in All Communications

Posted By: George Deeb - 8/17/2022

The words you use in all of your work related communications can  have a major impact on how others perceive you, as a leader.  And, as entr...

The words you use in all of your work related communications can  have a major impact on how others perceive you, as a leader.  And, as entrepreneurs, it is really easy to put yourself in the middle of it all, on a pedestal, as the person that founded the company.  But, as you all should know by now, you are not building your business by yourself, and credit needs to be shared with all, to keep everyone feeling respected and motivated in their day-to-day efforts as part of the company.  That all starts with removing the word "I" from your vocabulary, effective immediately.

Defining "I" vs. "We"

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word "I" is speaking to one's SELF, possessing a personal INDIVIDUALITY.  And, the same source, defines the word "We" as "a GROUP that includes me".  Notice the stark difference between the two:  using the word "I" makes it sounds like you are building your business by yourself, and using the word "We" clearly tells others that you are part of team, that is equally invested in building your company's success.  

What Does that Means For Your Communications?

Unless you are a solopreneur working by yourself, ditch the word "I".  And, even then, you are most likely working with other outside partners (e.g., investors, bankers, accountants, lawyers, contractors, agencies) in some capacity.  And, they too want to feel like they are doing their part to participate in your success.  So, you too need to swap "I" for "We" when working with anyone that is involved with your business.

What Communications Are We Talking About?

ALL communications need to be amended to remove the word "I".  Verbal conversations by phone, written communications by email, corporate materials that describe the efforts of the business . . . basically everything.  You should set up a "swear jar", that every time you communicate with the word "I", you have to put a dollar in the jar.  For some of you, you may have just found your capital source for your next fundraising needs!!

What is the Result?

Making this change will have a lasting impact on your team.  No longer will you be at risk of being perceived as an out-of-touch egomaniac.  Instead, you will better motivate your team, instill a sense of self-worth into your employees committed to the company's success, and promote long term loyalty to your business.

Who am I Speaking To?

You need to look in the mirror, as I am speaking to YOU.   Take a look at your last few emails written to your team.  Do you see the word "I" anywhere in there?  You most likely do!!  Stop doing that!!  Before you send out your next corporate communication, proof-read it first to make sure the word "I" is nowhere to be found.

Closing Thoughts

For entrepreneurs that have been at the center of the worlds for years on end, this will be a really hard bad habit to break.  But, if you are religious about removing the word "I" from your vocabulary, your team will take notice, appreciate you including them in your COLLECTIVE success (not your INDIVIDUAL success) and want to work hard WITH you (not FOR you), as a leader that knows the importance your team has in building THE company (not YOUR company).  As you can hopefully see now, the words you use with your team really matter.

For future posts, please follow me on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.

Friday, August 5, 2022

[VIDEO] How to Protect Your Startup From Copycat Competitors

Posted By: George Deeb - 8/05/2022

  I was recently interviewed by the  Atlanta Small Business Network  (ASBN), an online "television network" serving the small busi...


I was recently interviewed by the Atlanta Small Business Network (ASBN), an online "television network" serving the small business community, about how to build defensible barriers to entry for your business.  I thought this video turned out great, and I wanted to share it with all of you, to see if it can be helpful to you in developing your own "competitive moats".  I hope you like it!!

The embedded video player didn't give me the option to change the size of this video.  But, if you want to see a bigger version, simply click the expand size button in the player above, or feel free to watch it on the ASBN website.

Thanks again to Jim Fitzpatrick and the ASBN team for having me on the show.  I look forward to our next interview together.

For future posts, please follow me on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.

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