Management Speak

Bob Lewis, the president of IT Catalysts, IncManagement Speak” is a set of management aphorisms rendered with insightful epigrams exploding the fine print hidden behind the jargon!

This collection is a part of “Keep the Joint Running” (KJR), the much-subscribed column of Bob Lewis.

You may like to subscribe to the weekly KJR articles by registering here.

This page contains a collation of selected “Management Speak” quips, which have been reproduced with permission.

Thanks a bundle, Bob!!


Management Speak

Management speak Translation
I’m committed to a high level of organization and structure. I’m a hopeless mess and I’m depending on you to cover for me.
You’re not a team player. You don’t think like I do.
You will have to do more with less. We are shipping more work offshore. You get to deal with the fallout.
You’re immature. I’m immature.
I don’t want yes-men. You don’t have to agree with me, as long as you don’t disagree with me.
I get the big bucks because I’ve got the brains. I’m clever enough not to let on I don’t know what I’m doing.
We’re looking for a dynamic and highly motivated self-starter We’re looking for someone we don’t have to pay much.
There will be equitable separation packages for employees at all levels. We get golden parachutes. You get tossed out of the plane with a backpack.
Thanks to your superhuman effort we dodged a bullet. Your job is now to dodge one bullet per week.
That’s an interesting idea. Let me think about it for a while and get back to you. That’s a great idea. Let me see how I can get full credit for it.
Things have changed and it now looks like your idea just might work. You were right all along.
Let me play Devil’s Advocate. My objections to your idea are pretty weak, but I’ll persist on arguing anyway.
This situation provides a unique opportunity to innovate a solution. You’re on your own. We haven’t a clue how to solve it.
We need to define a process for the future. This got out of control and I didn’t handle it.
Don’t be afraid to tell me bad news. So long as your bad news doesn’t threaten my job security.
Use your best judgment. Agree with me.
Get your priorities straight. Use your psychic powers to figure out what I’m most worried about right now.
The new supervisor has a management by crisis style. The department now has a crisis-by-management style.
Trust me on this. I’m making this up.
Speak candidly – I have an open door policy. Speak carefully; say the wrong thing and the door that will be open for you is the exit.
We need you to be a self starter. We don’t have any effective management here.
All you have to do… This will take you at least a year.
Sounds great; Can you e-mail me the details? I must remember to add you to my spam filter’s blacklist.
It looks good in the PowerPoint. It will be a miserable failure when put into practice.
I’m not going to make an official announcement. I don’t want to have to answer any difficult questions.
Tell me about yourself. If I tried to read your resume, I wouldn’t understand it.
We need to communicate better. You need to use smaller words.
You don’t know the history of this. You aren’t choosing sides.
Let me know if there’s anything I can do. There’s nothing I can do.
You will never know how important your contributions have been to the organization. Neither will anyone else, because I’m taking all the credit.
I don’t care who does it, as long as it gets done. I don’t care who does it, as long as it’s not me.
You are empowered to make decisions on your own. I expect you to figure out what I want you to do, and do it.
We just need a little time to get used to each other. You just need a little time to get used to seeing things my way.
It should work. We haven’t tested it yet.
My experience and instincts tell me … Don’t confuse me with the facts.
I take full responsibility. There’s no way I’m going to get fired over this.
I don’t see any problem with that. That won’t affect my bonus adversely.
We need to hold people accountable. We need a ready supply of scapegoats.
I think we have a mis-link here. I screwed up because I didn’t listen to you, and I won’t take the blame.
I will need to research this more. I need to ask my boss.

Please stand by for more of such gems!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.