Okay, I’ll say it.
Meatloaf has the worst brand of any food on the planet.
Okay, I’ll explain. I guess I must since you’re not in my head.
I can’t recall ever having bad meatloaf. But, it still would never come to mind on the list of my favorite foods. As a child, I remember my mother making meatloaf once or twice a year and it was always delicious. However, there was always a bit of a let down when “Meatloaf” was the answer to my question, “What’s for dinner?” It wasn’t exciting. It was dull. It was meatloaf. Yet, each time it was surprisingly good.
So, here is the theory…if meatloaf was called something different, it would be more popular. Bam! I said it.
Meatloaf needs to be re-branded.
The name is getting in the way of how good it actually is. You see, language matters. The words meat and loaf do not belong together. Actually, very few things and “loaf” fit together (don’t get me started on ham loaf). The combination of meat and loaf does not communicate the very best of what meatloaf (or whatever we shall call it in the future) has to offer. It needs to be re-branded. I’m convinced that if it had just been referred to as Country Steak (or something like that) from the beginning, its global popularity would increase by 39%. Okay, my math might be a bit off, but you get the point.
The words we choose have a huge impact on the effectiveness of our communication skills. The language we choose, how we brand something, and the words we select for descriptions, matter. This is why I’m often heard speaking with teams and organizations about the point that “Language Drives Behavior.” The words we choose create the image, message, and meaning for those we are communicating with. This is true for meatloaf as well as even more important elements of our daily communication.
So, whether it is in our efforts to strengthen the leadership development within teams, strengthen the culture of an organization, or gain clarity around mission, vision and values for the road ahead, language matters. The best teams are able to articulate the characteristics of the kind of compelling leadership they wish to strengthen within their people, the specific behaviors that bring their core values to life, and the culture they desire. The language helps drive the behaviors they want.
Good luck on your journey to communicate with the important people in your life and work!
Now I’m off to form a Task Force to re-brand Meatloaf. Who wants in?
Jason Barger is a globally celebrated author, keynote speaker, and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
Follow on Twitter @JasonVBarger and learn more at JasonVBarger.com
PS. For those of you looking for more related blogs about leadership and culture, here you go!