Three words that are stifling growth and why you should banish them

By: Bo McDonald

There are three words that are banished from the vocabulary inside the YMC office. When they are muttered, even quietly to oneself, there’s a good chance that I’ll get onto my soapbox about why they’re never allowed. No, I’m not talking about the seven dirty words as described by George Carlin. My list of banned language is:

–       No

–       Can’t

–       Never

Nothing irks me more than when a member of my team uses one of those words. I always relay the two examples of overcoming the impossible. First, I remember what my elementary school art teacher Anne Griener taught us. She had these words posted in larger than life letters in the front of her room:

“Can’t Never Did a Thing.”

The second comes from Steve Jobs. Avie Tevanian, a former Apple employee, recalled Jobs’ inspiring words in a 2006 interview.

“He was the kind of person that could convince himself of things that weren’t necessarily true or necessarily easy, maybe easy is the better way to think of it. That always worked with him for designing products, where he could go to people and ask them to do something that they thought was impossible,” he said. “But he would keep asking and say: ‘You know, it’s impossible but I still want you to try’ – and because of his sheer will, they would actually make it happen, or make something like it happen.”

The Wright brothers had a bicycle shop.  So why were they the first ones who succeeded in developing motorized flight?  They didn’t ask why they were qualified to pursue this.  They just asked how to do it and kept going until they found the answer.

Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times before he discovered the incandescent light bulb.  Edison had more than 1,000 opportunities to say “I can’t.” But he didn’t because: “Can’t Never Did A Thing.”

What seems impossible for you this year? Loan growth? Increasing income? You may have gathered in the board room multiple times with several ideas circled on your white board, only to be told why it won’t work.

Businessman and innovator Jules Lederer once said “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome.”

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