I was chatting with my buddy Thom Allen and wrote “sustainable.” I really do like that word… and it made me think about what my other favorite words are. Here are mine:
Sustainable: Got this from my MBA classes. In business sustainability is so critical. Profit, revenue, cash flow, etc. can all be irrelevant if none of it is sustainable. I love this word and strive for it in many areas of my life – health/fitness, relationships, projects I take on, etc. (close second from the MBA program: “significant.” This is a word that statisticians use to relay if something matters or not. I know you knew that but in stats is really gave me a new way to use it (with more force, maybe)).
Flexible: Got this from developing software. You want to create something that can be used elsewhere, in different modules, applications, etc. Create something that isn’t flexible and you’ll have to do it again, from the ground up. Create something that IS flexible and you can use it in other places. Think “widgets” or other things that use APIs.
Scalable: Got this from software development but I think about it with business all the time. In software you want to create something that a gazillion people could use, not just 4 people. Make software scalable, like Facebook, and if the sun/moon/stars align you could have gobs of people on your system. In business, make something that can scale and you can have “unlimited” income. Anything that is hourly billing IS NOT scalable. Product sales, generally, are scalable.
Creative: I never, ever, ever thought I was creative. I had zero creativity. When I hired interns I looked for signs of creativity. I loved to be around creative. Once I started my own business I learned I was, indeed, creative. Creative = clever?
Curious: Another C word that I looked for in my hiring. I wanted you to think about other ways to do things. If you aren’t curious you won’t work well in my environment because I don’t provide much training/info for you (sorry). I want you to figure it out on your own, which means you have to poke around and learn and ask the right questions. I’m happy to HELP but I don’t want to hold your hand (if you are one of my employees).
What are your favorite words (and why)?