Tag Archives: cliches

Cliches: Siamese twins

Avoid advice and management consultants

Siamese twins are a specific form of cliché, waiting to fill the vacuum in a speaker’s brain

Believe it or not, in this day and age, I am going to speak to you in plain English.

There is so much advice back and forth about management that, by and large, people are unsure whether they are coming or going.  Managers try this and that advice and things just get worse and worse.

Much of this advice is hit and miss because there are no hard and fast rules in management.  Yet, each book or training course or consultant, again and again, claims once and for all to have an up and coming theory over and above all others that will see you through thick and thin.

Between you and me, give or take one or two of these sources, none of them has advice based on the here and now, the real cut and thrust of management and it will leave you high and dry.

Further, employing consultants costs you an arm and a leg.  They tell you a cock and bull story, taking you only so far and no further time and again.  They hum and ha, do bits and pieces, spread doom and gloom and leave you at sixes and sevens.

They charge an arm and a leg.  Then, they take the money and run, leaving you in rags and tatters to sink or swim.  Meanwhile, they are alive and well and living in luxury, enjoying days of wine and roses, while you are left in sackcloth and ashes on a diet of bread and water.

If you don’t want to end up slipping and sliding between a rock and a hard place, take my advice: avoid consultants, clichés and advice.

Avoid them like the plague.

Coming shortly:  The benefits of the good consultant

Are you a “just” person?

Do you know a person who uses the word “just”?

You may have a boss:  “Could you just do these mods for me?”  But, “just do these mods” turns out to be the whole report with complicated formatting, extensive graphics and incoherent text.  And it’s Friday, four o’clock.

Or the boss might say “We’ll just have to tell them that the date has slipped.”  The date has slipped twice already and your boss is too frightened to contact the client.  “You get on well with them and it will be good for your development.”  Thanks boss.

Partners can be “just” too.  There is the “just” man:  “I’m just taking the dog for a walk,” he says innocently.  What he is really aiming to do is go to the pub, play darts and get to know the new barmaid better.

And the woman may want the man to perform numerous lengthy and arduous tasks.  She introduces the concept by making it sound trivial and easy.  “Could you just put the rubbish out?” she asks.  This means clear the shed, collect the bottles, go to the tip and buy more refuse bags.  Oh, and do the shopping while you are there.

If you are a “just” user, look out for the word and avoid it.

What can you do if you encounter a “just” user?  Simple: just give them some feedback.

Great motivational speeches: a call to arms

Let me speak to you in plain English.

Our figures show we have surrendered the high ground in our sales offensive.  Last quarter we were advancing with flying colours on a number of fronts, but we now seem to have drawn our wagons in a tight circle and adopted a laager mentality.

This may come as a bit of a bombshell but, if you managers and your troops don’t hit the target next quarter, people will be getting their marching orders.

If the rank and file don’t stop shooting themselves in the foot, there will be casualties.  Don’t think this is just a warning shot, the knives are out for anyone running for cover.

We’ve ended up sitting on a powder keg waiting to get scalped

The competition is cut throat, the market is a minefield.  But I’ve never fought shy of a battle, I’ve always been first over the top and have the scars to prove it.

You may be scanning the horizon, hoping the cavalry will come over the hill or a knight in shining armour.  Holding the fort and sticking to our guns is not enough.  We’ve ended up sitting on a powder keg waiting to get scalped.

We had a number of customers in our sights and sales were rocketing.  I know some were a long shot, a bit of a stab in the dark, but we were going great guns.

Now what do I find?  Our targets are in danger.  Our competitors have stolen a march on us.  They are calling the shots while we fight a losing battle.  We are in the firing line while our sales staff are at daggers drawn and our prospects decimated.

First of all, we are our own worst enemy.  At the first sign of a battle, a whiff of cordite, our people beat a retreat and we end up looking down the wrong end of a barrel with a knife at our throats.

Secondly, our competitors seem quicker on the draw.   All our troops must throw down the gauntlet and blow them out of the water.   We’ve got to nail our colours to the mast and go for the throat to break their stranglehold.   Sharpen your knives and let them have it with both barrels.

We will advance on all fronts – find a chink in their armour, outflank them before we are holed below the water line and meet our Waterloo.

These are my orders: In this outfit, we are all brothers in arms.  We will close ranks and hit the ground running.  We will gird our loins for the warpath.  We will take no prisoners.  The spoils of victory will be ours.