3 Wise Sayings You Need to Stop Saying Today

Some ‘wise’ sayings are evil affirmations that staying the same is a good thing. They’re dangerous because they’re half true.

#1. We did our best.

Bull crap! You didn’t do your best. You don’t even know what your best is.

“I did my best,” is an opiate that affirms poor performance. Don’t soothe it. Use it. Lean into discomfort.

Don’t console failure. Ask your team, “What are we learning? What will we do better next time?”

#2. You can’t hit a home run every time.

“You can’t hit a home run every time,” is a loser’s excuse for accepting halfhearted effort. It’s permission to ease up.

A few months ago I bought into this evil lie with a team I work with. I realize now that it gave me permission to expect less from them and myself. NO! NO! NO!

When you don’t hit a home run, don’t excuse it by saying, ‘You can’t hit a home run every time.” Instead ask:

  1. What does a home run look like?
  2. Who brought the most value? How will we better leverage their energy and talent next time?
  3. Who held us back? What will we do to elevate their performance next time?
  4. What will we do differently next time?
  5. How can we pour energy and talent into things within our control?
  6. What are we learning?

The trouble with, ‘You can’t hit a home run every time,’ is it’s true. You can’t. Now that we have that settled. How will you hit more home runs?

Don’t use ‘wise’ sayings to affirm lackluster effort.

#3. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

No! A little knowledge is the first step to a lot of knowledge. Yes! People with a little knowledge make mistakes. Isn’t that the point?

How have these wise sayings hindered progress on your teams? In your own leadership?

How might you adapt these wise sayings to make them even wiser?