34 Leadership Clichés You Need To Avoid

Poor leadership has ruined many organizations in this world. Don’t let your organization be one of them. Something that seemed exciting decades ago, may not sound that interesting to Gen Y. Therefore, don’t get stuck in a rut.

Think differently when it comes to leading others. Remember that just like everything needs modernization, so does leadership.

Below are 34 common leadership clichés that every leader must avoid.

  1. “I will take care of everything”

It is good for a leader to be a team player. You should manage things on your own. But if you try to handle everything on your own, then you are leaving no room for others to learn and follow. Stop being a micro-managing supervisor who loves controlling everything. Delegate work to others, based on their competencies. Give others a reason to shine. Mentor your subordinates. Be a ‘real’ leader.

  1. “Customer is King”

It’s good to care for your customers. However, if you end up taking too much care of your customers even when they are wrong, you lose the trust of your employees. If a customer’s irrational behaviour is giving a hard-time to your employee, then as a leader it is your duty to step in and stop the ‘King’ from ruling your team unjustifiably.

  1. “I never take a break”

Good for you! But why do you expect the same from your employees? They are not like you. And they shouldn’t be. If a leader constantly reminds the employees that there is no life out of work, then employees won’t want to stick with that leader for long. Learn to take breaks and ask your team to take breaks too. When people get time for themselves, they become more productive. Try it to believe it.

  1. “You failed at…”

This is a classic example of clichéd leadership. Putting a blame on someone is easy. Taking accountability of a failure isn’t. If you got a project, it was all due to your hard work. Burning the midnight oil finally paid off. Right? Well, it was all because you cared enough to do so! But if a project gets messed up, it was your subordinate’s failure, not yours. Again right? Wrong! This thinking needs to be changed if you really wish to be a successful leader. And the sooner you change it, the better it is.

  1. “We can’t take that risk now”

You can either be conservative, or you can drive people towards success. You can’t do both. Overly conservative notions can do no good to your organization. It can only limit your growth. Learn to take risks. Either you will succeed, or you will get experience. In both the cases, you will gain something. When you stop being afraid of what could go wrong, you get a chance to look at things differently. You think of what could go right. And you try to make it that way. Drop your fears and develop the habit of taking risks.

  1. “So, what do you suggest?”

Asking for others’ opinions is a good leadership trait. But asking for others’ opinions on any and everything isn’t. A person who always hesitates on making decisions cannot be a good leader. Asking your employees to create an action plan every time a new task arrives shows your incompetency to direct people with specific directions. Don’t leave people confused. Develop an action plan and tell your employees what is expected out of them. You will achieve more this way.

  1. “My experience has taught me that…”
    It is great to work with an experienced leader. But nobody wants to work with a leader who is always citing their experience. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Remember you aren’t the best always. Lead with confidence, not with egotism. Let people gain something from your experience. But don’t give them a long list of your past achievements every time they come to you for an opinion.

  2. Take to the next level
  3. Bring to the table
  4. Take offline
  5. Knowledge transfer
  6. Low-hanging fruit
  7. Hit the ground running
  8. Get one’s ducks in a row
  9. Fast-track (as a verb)
  10. Game changing (or changer)
  11. In a nutshell.
  12. At long last.
  13. Going forward.
  14. All walks of life.
  15. At the end of the day.
  16. Bring to the table.
  17. I’m giving it 110%.
  18. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
  19. As bold as brass.
  20. Uphill battle.
  21. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  22. Too little, too late.
  23. Sleeping like the dead.
  24. Actions speak louder than words.
  25. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
  26. Never say never.
  27. Laughter is the best medicine.
  28. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

It’s about time you looked beyond these conventional habits of leadership. Try adopting a positive and active approach in the way things work at your organization. Change yourself, change your leadership style and you will change the way your organization achieves success. And this change will be for better.

What did we miss?

What are some other leadership clichés that you have heard? Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.

Amy Grant

Amy GrantVerified account

Reporter at CEOWORLD Magazine
Editorial Aide/Reporter at The CEOWORLD magazine. Nationally Syndicated Advice Columnist. Generally prefer dogs to humans. Loves dragons. New Yorker.
Amy Grant

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