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The most mis-used two word phrase in the business world

Please add your comments at the bottom… many thanks.

(No 3 in series of 3 – Diversity – Differences make The Difference)
Did you miss No.1 or  No.2

Time to Read: 1 mins 33 seconds

The most mis-used two word phrase in the business world

Last week I wrote about the single most boring word in HR – “Competency.”

Forgive me, I nodded off just writing the word…and this week we go for another major award – ladies and gentlemen, I give you….the most mis-used two word phrase in the business world:


OK – in sports, I get it – the best of the very best

In business and organisations, this definition is becoming rather…familiar.

It’s the one plastered with promises, adverts and hype around those two words – world-class has become the new norm.

True, inside your organisation, every single person will have a unique gift, skill or passion that may indeed be the best of the very best (see video!), however as an overall, we need a more helpful definition…

Taking the phrase literally, “world-class” = works anywhere in the world, with everyone in the world.

Chances are, your organisation is global – i.e. you have a website, or you have people from different cultures, with different customs and of different religions – so, being a truly global leader is rather important.

How do you do this?

Ensure that every single person in your organisations knows where to go to, to find something out or ask for help.

Is free, and feels free to say what they think, without fear or favour.

You respect, embrace and celebrate people’s differences.

Your leaders are role models for the respect they show to everyone.

We live in a truly diverse world, and that world is reflected in your organisation, your teams and your people right now. Value them all in this way and they will return and deliver that value, tenfold. Yes, as I always say, some will choose not to go on the journey (in which case, they exit), however, the vast majority will.

11 Responses to The most mis-used two word phrase in the business world

  1. World class should apply to business too in my opinion.
    I am sure I have read in Naked Leader literature the phrase ‘world class’ although i guess times change and so should management speak.

    • Thanks Frank – yes, in the early days I used it a lot – nothing wrong with the phrase it helps if people can be clear what they mean when they use it – like, for us in NL – works anywhere in the world, with everyone in the world. David

  2. Just choosing the right way is the key to getting it right in business.
    take the right path, CHOOSE how you are going to do it and where you are going to go in a given timescale and then get on and do it.
    That’s my philosophy.

  3. Comment received by email…

    Hi David

    Great post…and I am particularly delighted to see that you have woken up from your “Competency” Induced slumber !

  4. Choosing the right path can be difficult.
    It’s taking the right decision at the right time in your life and there isn’t always somebody there to help.
    Sometimes it can be down to pot luck as to whether you choose right, and make a success of yourself, or go down the wrong path and end up in the wrong crowd.

  5. World class doesn’t mean you are great.
    It’s just a title someone hands out which is merely an opinion.
    A true phrase without connotations is top class, because that implies you are the best at what you do.
    World? Has no meaning in my eyes.

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