Now that I no longer work for my old boss, who took this post personally, I am adding it back by popular demand.
Workplace Metaphors and more…
(originally posted on blogger http://flowergirldujour.blogspot.com/ in 2006)
I have been collecting a list of metaphors and cliches
often used in the work place to mean something to the
person saying it, in an almost self-righteous way.
For example, I once heard my boss say "Rome wasn’t built
in a day…And You Can Boil the Ocean at the Same Time…While
I know you know How to Eat an Elephant – One Bite At a Time…
you might lack the Line of Site and JUMP INTO THE WEEDS
where your Grass Roots spirit takes over your 60,000 foot view, but remember there is the pink elephant (yes, pink) in the room, so never underestimate the power of persona when driving down the superhighway of life…"
How many workplace metaphors were used in the last paragraph?
(BTW, that was rhetorical).
The interestingly ironic thing is that these statements, while vague
and often spoken in an effort to "spin" the situation into a positive
light, they are nothing more than "smoke and mirror" statements (what I affectionately
like to call SAM).
If you hear a colleague saying one of these phrases, you might be
wondering what you should do?
Here are a few suggestions…
A) Hold your hand up in a gun position (thumb up//pointer finger out) and shoot an air gun while winking your eye.
B) Respond back with your own string of workplace metaphors: "There are no silver bullets", "let’s parachute down to
street level", etc.
C) Hit your staples ‘Easy Button’ to eject said person through the roof
All in all, it is a fast and easy way to tell who you want to
associate with — Go for those who speak with passion and integrity;
not spin doctors, for you might just wind up with your sweet spot (meaning:
where you find the best in breed for your business at the lowest opportunity
cost) mixed with some secret sauce (meaning: the key success measure) resulting in what my
friends tease me for doing all of the time: mixing my metaphors!