Image Alt

Beth Graybill

  /  Articles   /  Confusing Leadership Language

Do you ever get confused or lost in all of the leadership language swirling around out there?

I do.

And I hate to admit this but even I’ve taken “bathroom breaks” to  google certain business leadership terms during meetings or mixers so I could sound semi-intelligent. Leadership language seems to be developing at a rapid rate, and each industry or area of ministry has it’s own terms to add. It’s so easy to get lost in it all.

But here’s what I do know. Regardless of which words are being used, the most important part of leadership isn’t the language you use . . . it’s the way you show up in the world.

It’s the way you show up with your team, your assistant, your company, your ministry volunteers. It’s the way you show up with your spouse or significant other, your kids, your neighbors, your community (yes, ALL of this matters in your professional leadership too!).

So if you’re looking to grow as a leader, but feeling a little lost in all of the leadership language, here’s what you can do:

1. Go with your heart. You might not always have the “right” terms to use, but chances are that you know the right things to do and have good things to say in the process. You’ve done the research + reading with your mind. Now it’s time to listen, learn + lead with your heart.

2. Trust your sense of intuition. This means, trust your gut. What are your instincts telling you about the decision that needs to be made, or about the conversations that need to be had, and so on? Pay attention to those instincts. Write them down. Take notice of the times when you act on instinct. What happened? How did the situation turn out? Learn to trust yourself.

3. Connect with your community as much as you can. This means connect with your people–your employees, your team, your volunteers, your partners, your leadership, your family, your neighbors, your faith community. Connect with them in meaningful ways both inside + outside of your work projects, which are mostly transactional. And if you’re unsure what it looks like to “connect” with people in your community, the 3 key ingredients to connection are: consistency, clarity and communication (or conversation).

Believe it or not, these nuggets of wisdom came from a random conversation on “Wilderness Parenting” on this podcast . . . it’s basically the idea that we don’t always “know the right things to do or ways to respond, but we have an innate ability to parent anyway.” And this applies to leadership too. In fact, this idea of a wild, innate ability we have to parent or lead applies to every area of our lives as we influence the world around us.

Q’s for You:

Have you ever felt lost in leadership language? How so?

Which one of these 3 ways of leading is most challenging for you? Why?

Name one thing you will do this week to grow in that particular area of leadership.