If you’re like me, you probably love words, their meanings, their patterns and their uses. I can remember studying Latin two hours each day in 10th grade and wondering what possible use it could have for me. The answer to that is obvious … those Latin classes significantly strengthened my knowledge and command of the English language (not to mention “amo, amas, amat …”). Then, in college, I took a Greek and Latin word roots class. Fun, very informative and an easy A! Since those days, I find myself reading business dictionaries, searching out new words, experimenting with the alternative use of existing words and so much more. Yes, I’m a word addict and proud of it!
I’m devoting this article to one of my favorite topics – verbs. Verbs give us power – power to write documents that are well-positioned and that communicate a vast amount of information with just the use of a simple verb or two. Our colleague, Louise Kursmark, recently coined the phrase, “key verb,” an excellent description of how these verbs can be used to your advantage when writing resumes, cover letters, branding statements, leadership profiles and other job-search communications. Now, let’s explore the use and meaning of some of my favorite verbs.
Accelerated the rate at which Kodak was able to bring new products to market by redesigning the entire product development and engineering process, eliminating roadblocks and streamlining documentation requirements. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you were able to speed up the rate at which a certain activity or process happened and, in turn, you delivered positive results.)
Architected the business plan, strategy, mission, vision and organizational design for a new offshore financial services firm targeting private equity investors worldwide. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you created, designed, developed and built all of the “pieces” for a new company, division, market or other entity.)
Catapulted the AT-101 Therapeutic Massage Device to #1 market share in the nation following a coast-to-coast media and advertising campaign. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you were able to launch a product, service, technology or company to the very forefront of the market/industry.)
Championed the development of a new line of cosmetics targeted to the affluent Hispanic market and delivered $2.8 million in first year sales. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you were the driving force behind an idea, a product, a technology, a service or any one of a number of other “inventions.”)
Dominated the East Coast market and eliminated the competition following the introduction of a fully integrated home security system for under $1000. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you obliterated the competition and ruled the “universe.”)
Honored with the 2006 “Sales Manager of the Year” award from Dow Chemical (from a group of more than 300 eligible sales management professionals in the company). (Meaning: Communicates the message that YOU were chosen for special recognition because you excelled at your job, a special project, revenue growth or any one of a number of other achievements.)
Imagined the possibilities for Dow to expand into emerging African markets, authored business plan, staffed new organization and transitioned from concept into full-scale operation. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you were able to conceive something new and revolutionary that brought about positive change and results.)
Leveraged relationships with key accounts to facilitate RDL’s successful launch of its new dedicated logistics services, increasing annual sales by better than 22% within one year. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you were able to favorably “exploit” existing relationships, partnerships and activities to support, strengthen or expand other business operations.)
Orchestrated the start-up, funding, development and market launch of a new technology venture to capture emerging opportunities in e-commerce and other e-based revenue streams. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you put together numerous different components to create a complete whole, just as you would put together all of the instruments in a symphony to create a complete orchestral piece.)
Pioneered the initial concept that led to the development of new technology for the distribution of electrical services nationwide. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you conceived, conceptualized or created some new and revolutionary.)
Revitalized dormant market, introduced new sales call program targeting key accounts, and increased regional sales revenues by 31% within 12 months. (Meaning: Communicates the message that you were able to re-energize and bring something back to life.)
The next time you’re writing and you use a great new verb, word or phrase, please be sure to pass it along to me. Let’s share our words and see if we can’t help each other all become better, more skilled and more powerful writers.