chaosRead any of my posts and you’ll see I’m no grammar Nazi; I’ve misused the word parameter more than once, I’m still confused about correct forms of data and phenomena and my punctuation makes up its rules as it goes along.

But I do bristle when words are used indiscriminately, because it allows true meanings to get lost or false ones, implied.  Whenever someone uses paradox to mean contradiction or pressure to mean stress I react as if they had used literally to mean figuratively; anyone who ‘literally exploded’ literally didn’t.

Granted, these are minor irritations… but some words really matter.

Consider change, a word that seems to promise just about everything because it’s come to mean just about anything.

Say you vote for me because I promised you change and as soon as I take office I create pure havoc… surely I’ve kept my promise. You wanted change… and I delivered. Or did you mean something else?

Do you really want (or for that matter, fear)

Change (verb) the alteration of something?

Or did you mean

Innovation (noun)change that makes something better?

Or do you want

Progress (noun) change advancing towards a specific destination?

Or were you genuinely interested in

Chaos (noun) random change without innovation or progress?

And while we’re at it, let’s be clear about leader, a title given to whoever’s top of the org chart. Is every boss a leader? Should every manager above a certain level be rebadged as ‘leader’?

If not, we should choose our labels with a little more care… or god knows who might end up in charge.

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Written by Jason Clarke

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Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.