I made a collection of the top ten things we say that we don’t mean. You know, crazy things that we say when we’re hurt. I’ve also noticed that there are things that smart people say. Over and over and over again, I hear them repeated in successful businesses, growing churches, and thriving families. I hear them said casually, almost as though it’s become a habit of success. Here they are.
- Smart people know when to say, “yes.” Yes is a good word. It’s a word that we all want to hear. But it has to be used sparingly, diligently. And every “yes” has to be filtered through a strategic focus on why we’re here, what we do, and what we’re best at.
- Smart people say, “no.” This rivals right up there with the power of “yes.” Knowing what you don’t do saves you a lot of trouble, money, and aggravation.
- Smart people say, “What would you do?” By this they are inviting dissent and disagreement in a positive way. They are asking other people to offer their intelligence, their skill, and their experience to the issue at hand.
- Smart people say, “thank you.” And they say it often, repeatedly; not just to important people, but all people. To the VP of marketing and the guy who sells him his hamburger, there are no big I’s and little You’s when it comes to thank you’s.
- Smart people say, “I’m sorry.” They don’t throw it around casually, but they know when it’s appropriate and they are not afraid to use it.
Take these words, apply them to your own team, your family, or your movement and ask yourself this question: “Do we use these words, do we use them appropriately, often, and as a habit of success?”