If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard one of these 89 business clichés in the last 6 months, I could buy something nice.
You’ve heard all 89 of these too. The translations are interesting. The common thread is that these clichés tend to be very manipulative, they hide things, and/or are frequently used to justify already-made decisions even if there’s a valid reason to do it differently.
If you want to be a leader, memorize this list, get someone you trust to memorize this list, and tell this trusted individual to smack you with a broom if you ever say any of these 89 things within earshot. This list is much more useful for talking about issues than it is for solving issues.
If you want to be a politician, memorize this list and work one of them into every sentence. But keep in mind that the people you manage will soon also be memorizing this list and using it to play a drinking game. Hopefully not at work.
And yes, there is a big difference between a leader and a politician. Politicians tell people what they want to hear, or try to make them think what they’re hearing is what they want them to hear, but they don’t really solve problems. Leaders look at problems, seek wise and learned counsel, then apply what they learn to solving those problems.
Being a leader is harder, because it means you can’t just memorize and repeat a few dozen clichés.
But ultimately, the leader will have a longer career, because the leader can usually get the problem solved while the politician is still talking about them. And the leader will retain the respect of the experts who actually are doing the work, because they can tell the leader is actually listening to them, rather than just applying pressure.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.