10 things successful leaders or entrepreneurs never say

For a budding or even a seasoned entrepreneur, communication is absolutely necessary. Communication is what he needs to focus on majorly because half his job depends on it. Communicating with team members, talking to VCs and setting up deals with vendors is not exactly easy. The words that they use while communicating are important because they leave an impression. Along with the words, the style of speaking and the tone also defines a great entrepreneurial leader.

Here are ten things successful leaders or entrepreneurs never say


If an entrepreneur says this, it is a mark of disbelief and distrust on his employees. If an employee’s idea seems brilliant but far-fetched and could benefit the company, an entrepreneur will go to any lengths to make it work. Leaders need to believe in their team and that’s how they open doors to newer and better ideas.


This is a phrase you’ll never hear a successful entrepreneurs say as the settled ones are always looking for new inspiration for their venture. They are often looking for ideas to either expand their business or venture into a new market totally. Also, the successful entrepreneurs are open to any idea that will promote efficiency at a lower cost. With evolving markets, leaders are on a hunt for new ideas and people who can provide them.

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This is the most demotivating sentence a leader can say to his team. This loosely translates to “I don’t have an opinion”. However, great leaders always have an opinion. If they like an idea, they praise the employee who suggested it and try to make it work and if they think an idea isn’t workable, they explain it to team why it won’t work. But, lack of feedback reflects lack of good leadership skills. No matter how trivial a suggestion might seem, leaders always need to have a take on it.


Good leaders are aware of the fact that it is always personal since you are uttering these words to a person with whom your relationship is at stake. Leaders are also aware that the key to building a great team is creating great professional and to some extent personal relations with the employees. If a leader constantly snubs or rejects ideas from employees, they will resent the leader and put in half-baked efforts which will hinder the growth.


This might seem like a counter to I don’t care but it isn’t. True leaders know that perfection is difficult to achieve which is why they don’t throw terms loosely. Even if a suggestion or plan seems brilliantly crafted, it is the leader’s job to scrutinize it minutely and seek a flaw or a loophole in the plan. However, the flaws need to be communicated in a good manner and worked upon.

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“I CAN’T.”

True leaders never really say things like this because this statement on his part displays either lack of belief or limited actions. If a task seems undoable, leaders will somehow find a way to do it without disappointing their employees. If a leader utters these words, it leaves a negative impact on the whole organization.


This is a demotivating and derogatory comparison and successful leaders will never say it even if they feel it. It is unhealthy and does not inspire hard work and efforts. A person can be criticized in a healthy manner but pitting employees against each other will create rifts in the team and give rise to unhealthy and spiteful competition internally and these tensions are the last thing a leader wants to deal with

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This is another very demotiving and incorrect thing to say to your employees, however we do hear leader uttering it from time to time. This might lead to employees hiding stuff from the leader which might turn out to be very dangerous for the company. Instead of making such a strong negative statement, leader should have a positive approach like “I need to hear good news, today”.


It is not an uncommon fact that leaders are busy, but, that in no way gives a leader an authority to talk to an employee in this manner. A successful leader puts it across in a better way by saying things like “Now is not a good time”. However, no matter how busy they are, great leaders always manage to find time for their employees via technology if not in person.

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The above statement shows unnecessary bossiness and might come across as a rude statement. It is very humiliating and disrespectful for an employee as he feels that his ideas or way of working isn’t valued and he is just a puppet to whatever the boss says. Instead, a leader needs to give inputs in a pleasant manner which employees are open to.

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Author: OOS Team

Explaining bits and bytes of startups and entrepreneurship.

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