A Leader’s Words Can Change A Culture
Pay attention to your word choice. Words influence employee behavior and company culture.
jobfails to convey the depth of the long-term relationship the firm’s consultants are attempting to make with their clients. At this consulting firm, words mattered. And they mattered so much, even outside speakers like me were required to learn the lingo—and I was glad to do it.
When I was writing a book about the Apple Store, I discovered an extraordinary example of the power of word choice. During the development of Apple’s first retail locations, Steve Jobs took a hands-on role to make sure the store wasn’t just another computer retailer.
“We’re not in the business of selling computers,” Jobs told his staff. “We’re in the business of enriching people’s lives.” A store that enriched lives looked very different than a store that just “moved boxes” or “sold stuff,” Jobs explained. For example, a store that enriched lives would have to leave customers with a memorable experience—that’s why the Apple Store avoided commission-based salespeople. The experience was all that mattered, whether or not the customer made a purchase that day. Enriching lives meant that customers could touch and play with the devices, and they could have access to in-store classes to learn how to use the systems. headtopics.com
All of these features in the original Apple Stores were very different than traditional computer retailers at the time—and it began with finding the right words to convey the company’s vision.“Enriching lives” did not start organically. It started at the top—with Steve Jobs. Only after hearing it repeatedly and knowing that Jobs was serious did everyone else get the message.
Pay attention to the words you use as a leader. Are they the best words to explain your company and its role in people’s lives? Are you walking the talk and using the words consistently in your conversations and presentations?Words matter because words lead to action.Read more: Forbes »
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