3 Common Business Words That Should be Shot

3 Words Shot by Gun with Blood Splatter

“I need to manage my resources.” When referring to a team, this sentence should make our stomaches churn. Yet this phrase is uttered every day, by thousands of business executives, everywhere. Below are the three words that should be dragged out behind the woodshed and shot.

My / Mine

Unless you are a sole-proprietor with no investors, you own very little – if anything – in your organization. Instead, you are a steward of that money. You are responsible for those people. Next time, instead of “my” or “mine”, try these:

  • Our
  • The Company’s / Team’s / Group’s


People are not objects. You don’t own them. If you refer to someone as an object how do you expect them to respond? Yet somehow we always refer to people as resources (Human Resources, anyone?!). Instead of resources, try these:

  • People / Person
  • Team(s)


You lead people, you manage objects (time, money, inventory). Calling someone my manager also refers to me as something that must be managed. Again, you’ve dehumanized me.Instead of “Manager” try these:

  • Leader
  • Work Team Lead
  • Lead <role> (e.g. Lead Developer, Lead Accountant…)

The next time you think of using these terms, consider the alternatives above. You may find creative and energized people you can lead, rather than a group of owned, objects you must manage.

Question: What other common business words should be shot?


Picture of Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

1 thought on “3 Common Business Words That Should be Shot”

  1. “At the end of the day….” (Unless, of course, you are actually using the phrase ‘at the end of’ the work day, and you are about to finish the sentence with …. “You did really good work today; great attention to detail; thanks for your ideas at today’s meeting. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.”

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