Post-Grad Management Cliches for MBAs: 97 More Dumb Cliches to Help You Get Promoted

Post-Grad Management Cliches for MBAs: 97 More Dumb Cliches to Help You Get Promoted

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by: Eric Jackson

Last month, I tabulated 89 management cliches that have become commonplace in every organization across the country – large and small.

English: MBA Master Business Administration

These hackneyed phrases, unfortunately, have become so popular that many people think they’re prerequisites for getting promoted to middle and upper management.

However, the list was woefully incomplete. You happily contributed many more in the comments section.

So, listen up MBAs, it’s time to go back and do a little post-grad work on more management cliches.  Here are 96 more — longer than my original list — that you certainly need to memorize and commit to practice if you have a hope of getting promoted — or at least avoiding being part of the next round of layoffs in your organization:

  1. We’re going to open the kimono with them = This sounds marginally better than ‘we’re going to drop our pants for them’; basically, we’re going to do what they want
  2. Let’s take it to the next level = Prepare to work twice as hard as you have been for the past 6 months
  3. Feel free to reach out to me [or any version of “reaching out”]/you know my door is always open = I have no intention of ever talking to you about this issue again but I want to make it seem like I’m a touchy-feely boss who’s always there for you so you don’t give me crummy anonymous feedback on my upwards 360 this year like last year
  4. Good meeting = Hope someone took notes and will follow up on this because I sure didn’t or won’t
  5. It’s money for jam = I’m sure to get my executive bonus based on all the hard work you’ve been doing
  6. It’ll be a walk in the park = You’d better have these critical business issues sorted out by the time I get back from my overseas vacation
  7. We’re living and breathing this 24/7/365 = I’m leaving tomorrow for a two-week trip to the south of France to watch the Tour De France but I’m telling people I’m going to meet some of our “most important customers”
  8. Let’s take a helicopter view of this/we’ve got to be strategic about this = I’ve been consistently rated by my bosses as having no ‘strategic thinking’ aptitude so I’ve trying to over-compensate by saying this
  9. It’s a no-brainer = You must have no brain because you needed me to tell you
  10. I want you to be proactive about things = Why can’t you read my mind by now?
  11. Going forward = Never do this again, ok?
  12. What’s your color/your Myers-Briggs type/some other wacky Personality Profile typology?= It’s so boring around here that let’s waste time by talking about what type of people we are and guessing what type other people we hate are….
  13. I can see where you’re coming from = I am not interested in your point of view
  14. I hear what you’re saying but = I don’t intend to do anything about that
  15. I’ve taken on board/in what you say = I still don’t intend to do anything about that.
  16. Who’s running this monkey show anyway? =This thing is going sideways and it certainly isn’t my fault
  17. Remember, I’m the one who started this whole monkey show in the first place = It seems like this is quickly becoming a little silly
  18. We need to swim in each other’s wakes/walk in each other’s shoes = Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  19. I totally have a crush on this idea/I’m loving this idea = I need more of a life outside of work
  20. This doesn’t work with the matrix environment structure= No one inside or outside this organization seems to understand how this matrix structure works and yet we never get rid of it
  21. That’s an aggressive timeline = Yeah, that’s not happening; you need a new plan
  22. It’s working as designed = The design sucked, but we’re/you’re stuck with it
  23. You’re boiling the ocean = This job is too big for us
  24. This is a potentially disruptive innovation = This stuff is so new that we have no idea who will use it.
  25. We’re locked and loaded= Things are pretty boring here at our company so we like to talk like this to make it seem like we’re starring in an action movie
  26. I’m just going to go ahead and get the ball rolling= I’ve called a meeting because I was hoping someone could tell me what’s going on, and now you’re all staring at me…

    English: Virginia SCC Organizational Chart

  27. Is there a better way to articulate that? = What did you just say?
  28. Don’t go there = You’re ripping open an old scab with that issue
  29. Let me noodle/marinate on that and get back to you= I really wish I’d gone to cooking school instead of getting an MBA
  30. But is the juice worth the squeeze?/Are we really going to get our bang for the buck? = Maybe we should just keep our heads down on this thing and let it blow up because our necks aren’t on the line
  31. What a keener  = I used to have bright ideas and say them out loud at meetings too 25 years ago when I started here….
  32. I’m crazy busy right now = I really want you to think I’m busy so I’m not part of the next round of layoffs
  33. They loved the pitch = What else am I going to say about something I prepared 6 weeks for?
  34. My travel schedule is IN-sane = I am probably IN-sane for saying that; maybe I watched too many Krazy Eddie commercials as a kid….
  35. I just got back from Asia, and Monday I leave for Europe = I really want to underline to you that I’m very important; the more airports I see, the more important I am
  36. We can ask the web guys to throw that up on the website = I don’t have a technical bone in my body but I’m sure our IT guys will get on this right away and they’re not swamped with other stuff at the moment….
  37.  We’re the tip of the spear on this = Why do I feel like I’m about to get a spear in me?
  38. Isn’t that out of scope? = That sounds like too much extra work
  39. Our culture really values work-life balance = The only time I see my kids is when I look at their photo on my desk
  40. A lot of our workers telecommute = I want you to sign my offer so I’m going to try and make you think we don’t look down on people who work from home, but, of course, we do
  41. I worked from home this morning = I had to meet my cable guy at the house this morning
  42. He/She/They can go pound sand = They can go stuff it
  43. Their perception IS their reality = I’m not about to tell the boss that his ‘next big idea’ is totally off the planet.
  44. English: An artist's depiction of the rat race...

    Let’s get some runs on the board = I don’t care what it is, but you’ve got to make it look like we are actually achieving something.

  45. We’re going to throw this against the wall and see what sticks = There’s a big RIF [reduction-in-force] rumored to be happening, so let’s just do a bunch of stuff that hopefully makes us look good
  46. This is what separates the wheat from the chaff/the men from the boys [or other non-sexist variant] = I want you to work harder so I’m going to make it sound like you’re a total failure if you don’t work twice as hard for the next month on this…
  47. We’re trying to finish building the plane while we’re flying it = No one’s got a clue what’s going on around here…..
  48. We’re 4th and inches on this, guys = Look, stop complaining and just get it done, ok?
  49. It is what it is/that’s life = stop crying you big baby
  50. You don’t get a medal for showing up = I never won any trophies as a kid….
  51. Well, I guess it’s your turn in the barrel = Look, [Boss X] was mad at me for 6 months last year, so don’t expect any sympathy from me on this….
  52. LOL/LMFAO/Sad Face = [Anyone who tries to use texting language in discourse is horribly old]
  53. My kids tell me this is big right now = What’s an iPad?
  54. Let me give you a card = I want to stop talking to you now and go and talk to someone who I can make money from
  55. Boil it down for me = Sorry I wasn’t paying attention for the last 10 minutes because I was responding to other emails while you talked to me. Can you summarize?
  56. Google it = Shut up and don’t you see how technologically savvy I am now because I use Google?
  57. We’re going to have to push that to the back-burner = My boss just got chewed out by his/her boss and told me to drop everything but this new pet project
  58. Who’s the lead on this? = What’s going on? I was just reading my Facebook News Feed
  59. I’m in fire-fighting mode right now/we’re in crisis mode/it’s all-hands-on-deck right now = It’s Tuesday
  60. Didn’t you get my email on that? = I know I screwed up, but let me try to artfully make everyone at this meeting think I foresaw this issue and emailed you about it last week, so they think it’s your fault
  61. You’re not being a team player = What do you mean you don’t want to do my job for me?
  62. When’s the site going to be updated? = All I know is I did my part and now I can’t be blamed any more…
  63. We need one throat to choke on this = Someone needs to be accountable for this (with a little passive-aggressive imagery thrown in there)
  64. Are we on Facebook yet? = I’ve heard it’s a big deal
  65. Hey, people can “like” us on Facebook now = Just when I got used to telling people what our AOL ‘Keyword’ was, we have to move to this new Facebook thing
  66. I tweeted that last week = I’m sure my 4 followers couldn’t stop talking about it, as it was only my 11th tweet
  67. I’m going to put that up on my blog this weekend = Any excuse to spend 3 hours on Sundays from the wife because I’m a frustrated Mark Twain sounds good to me….
  68. We’re all on the same team here = Don’t you dare try to take credit for that; I want at least some of the credit
  69. C’mon guys, this is right in our wheel-house/up our alley = We didn’t you think of this before our competitor did?  I surely would have thought of it if I’d been in your shoes.  Sheesh.
  70. We’re studying that right now = I have no intention of doing that but telling you this is going to get you to shut up, get off my back and hopefully forget to ask me about it in the future.
  71. [Company X] is doing something really interesting right now = I really want to do this here but I don’t have any credibility so I’m going to cloak it as a company more forward-thinking than us is doing it, so we should ape them.
  72. You know who you should talk to is [so-and-so] = I’m bored of talking about this with you.  Why don’t you go talk to [so-and-so]
  73. We need to run it up the flag pole and see who salutes = I’m not doing this until I’m sure I’m not going to get yelled at for going out on a limb and doing this
  74. All we have to do is plan our work and work our plan = Just do it and stop yapping
  75. I read this amazing book on my vacation…  = I just bought 20 copies of it on Amazon and expect you to read it and implement all of its management ideas here by next Friday to solve all our problems
  76. Your problem is you’re too negative = my problem is I have no clue what our current reality it is and how to get from there to my far-off vision of the future
  77. I’m all about [x] = I do [x] so much I should get it tattooed on my forehead
  78. I get all my best ideas in the shower = [Don’t ask]
  79. The confluence of these events led to a result that was situationally sub-optimal. = We did badly
  80. Guys, we need to prioritize this = Why haven’t you done this already? Do I have to think of everything?
  81. At some point, you’ve got to stop living in the past = Yes, we screwed the pooch last time, but this time it’s different because…
  82. We don’t know what we don’t know = I think someone read that in an airport management book last summer and told me that; it sounds deep
  83. It’s on my radar = Enough already…
  84. And then I had an “A-ha” moment/a bell went off in my head/it hit me like a lightening bolt = Let me tell you how brilliant I am… this is Thomas Edisonstuff

    Dilbert (character)

  85. Let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here = I’m not following what you’re talking about so I’m going to take a helicopter view and make you think you’re over-complicating this issue
  86. When we do our long-term planning next year…. = Funny how we think we work in the one industry left on Earth that only has to do long-term planning once a year to keep up to date with changing trends
  87. It’s about Substance vs Style = And I’m all about making you think I’m about substance so I keep my job
  88. She hasn’t drank the kool-aid yet = She’ll soon just think, act, and speak like the rest of us automatons
  89. We’re not seeing the forest for trees, here = You’re not agreeing with me enough yet….
  90. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing = You two groups are doing different things then I told you to but let me emphasize that it’s your fault and not mine for my unclear instructions
  91. OK, we’ll play it by ear = I’m not going to give you any clear instructions on what you should do…
  92. And as per usual…. = My old boss used to say this, so maybe I’ll get promoted if I start saying it too
  93. We’re in the weeds now/we’re now going down a bunny trail = OK, let’s get back to what I want to talk about and stop talking about what you care about
  94. This is cookie-cutter stuff = You’re an idiot
  95. OK, but we’ve got to connect the dots for them/spell it out for them = They’re idiots
  96. Get with the program = You aren’t following our groupthink yet
  97. If you can’t dazzle them with brains, baffle them with B.S. = Nice to see you got with the program

Feel free to add to this list in the comments below.

Keep on keeping on with those cliches, people!

[No positions in the stocks mentioned]