Management Cliches

by Krishna on December 20, 2006

What is your most hated management cliche? The one I love to hate the most is the incredibly condescending “Work smarter, not harder”. I don’t disagree with the general concept of planning and avoiding mistakes as such, but when I used to hear it in the past, I have seldom felt more insulted. Here is what used to go in my head on hearing this comment:

  1. I spent the last “x” weeks of my life slogging day and night for the success of the project and instead of telling me thanks, you are saying that I did all that because I was stupid?
  2. Where were you, the supposed manager, when I was doing all these stupid things? Were you waiting to tell me this sentence after I had undergone this experience?
  3. If I knew how to work smarter, I would have done it already. Why don’t you teach me? Oh, pardon me, so you don’t have any ideas either?
  4. Thank you very much — next time, I will definitely be smart enough not to work harder.

The incredible gall of these managers is that they really don’t want you to work any less harder. If you are already putting in 1000 hours per week, you are supposed to maintaining that AND learning to work smarter! I remember a chap in an Indian company who decided to put the “not harder” part into action. Very soon, he was summoned to a room where he was asked not to be a troublemaker.

What are your management cliche gems? How about “I expect 110%”, “it is not brain surgery”, “we CAN do it”, etc.?

{ 1 comment }

Prashant Danda December 21, 2006 at 9:19 am

wow krish that was a hot post, i agree 200% with you, that is why i no longer work hard 🙂 because now i think i am working smart 😉

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