A corporate wannabe tries to impress people with the quality of their words instead of the quality of their ideas and ability to convey them.
Early in my career, I noted that management teams that talk over people’s heads tend to underperform their peers. Fact is, taking the complex and making it simple is difficult. Which is why every corporate wannabe loves to overcomplicate things in an attempt to show off their intelligence. Or at least their vocabulary.
The problem with these types of executives is that they don’t know what they don’t know. This means that others are often forced to fill in the gaps. And then you end up with an environment where people are afraid to ask questions or admit when they don’t understand something. The end result is often a high stress and toxic work environment plagued by problems and blame shifting.
It’s always easier to explain a complex topic in ten pages using convoluted reasoning than it is to explain that same topic in one page using simple words. For this reason, the best proof of someone’s intelligence is their ability to simplify the complex. It’s a key part of what makes great leaders and entrepreneurs so successful.
To be effective, you must be able to distill complex problems into simple terms that others can understand and act on. But it’s not just about being able to speak simply, it’s also about listening carefully so you can take out unnecessary details and weed out the unnecessary minutia from the bigger picture.
The art of simplifying is something that takes time and practice, but once mastered, it can be very rewarding — both professionally and personally.
Below are 50 of the most frequently used corporate lingo to see where you land on the “corporate wannabe” scale.
And if you do sound like a corporate wannabe, don’t panic. All you have to do is play it cool and take baby steps. Those all-business habits aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but they can be tamed with a few subtle tweaks.