Truisms for that Directors' Meeting

The Mutual-Fund Principle:
          Managers function (in certain situations) to hold gains to less than the market while assuring accelerated losses.

Kelley's Law:
          An executive will always return to work from lunch early if no one takes him.

George Bernard Shaw's Conclusion:
          If all the economists in the world were laid end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion.

Robinson's Observation Regarding Consumption:
          In this day and age of rampant consumption, we seem to be expending increasing amounts of energy in every form except "individual."

Dr. Samuelson's Reflection:
          The real objective of a committee is not to reach a decision, but to avoid it.

Barton's Promotional Observation:
          America's No. 1 problem is that Madison Avenue runs the wrong way.

Ancient Roman Advice:
          Illegitimus non Carborundum (don't let the bastards grind you down).

Graham's Pronouncement, or The Basic Law of Budgets:
          You can only spend it once.

Brien's First Law:
          At some time in the life cycle of virtually every organization, its ability to succeed in spite of itself runs out.

Firestone's Principle of Investment Timing:
          The best investment opportunities are encountered when you are broke.

Boss Pogue's Observation:
          My men give their talent to our company and their genius to their expense accounts.

Turley's Lament:
          The first loss is the easiest.

Litzler's Law of Competitive Bidding:
          The bigger the specification, the lower the profit.

Allen's Observation:
          A consultant may be defined as an unemployed practitioner.

Steiger's Law:
          This is as bad as the situation can get - but don't bet on it.

The Product-Meets-These-Requirements Rule:
          If Detroit makes it, it must be an automobile.

The Systems Paradox:
          People in systems do not do what the systems say they are doing.

Mark Twain's Classic:
          Put all your eggs in one basket and - WATCH THAT BASKET.

Sharp's Solid Thinking:
          Crystal balls aren't really very productive.

Forde's Second Law:
          You can't win them all, but you can sure lose them all.

Forde's Third Law:
          The longer the letter, the less chance of its being read.

Launegayer's Observation:
          Asking dumb questions is easier than correcting dumb mistakes.

Moch's Theories for Spreading Executive Responsibility:

  1. Note and initial.
  2. See me and discuss.
  3. Let's get together on this.
  4. Give us the benefit of your thinking.
  5. Let's take a survey [we need more time to think of an answer].
  6. For your consideration [you hold the bag for awhile].
  7. Take under advisement [ignore and hope everyone will forget it].

Kesell's Cardinal Principles of Leadership:

  1. Career defense [cover your ass].
  2. Verbal containment [shut your mouth].
  3. Competition elimination [screw your buddies].

Newberry's Observation:
          The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle.

Somerset Maughan's Thought:
          Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

A Jason Rainbow Thought:
          Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves.

Henderickson's Law:
          If you have enough meetings over a long period of time, the meetings become more important than the problem the meetings were intended to solve.

Cohen's Law:
          Everyone knows that the name of the game is what label you succeed in imposing on the facts.

Berkowitz's Postulate:
          A clean desk gives a sense of relief and a plan for impending disaster.

The Truth of Management:
          Organizations always have too many managers.

John's Law:
          In planning any corporate design, the most important variable is the age of the president's son.

Fudge's Law:
          If your answer and the prof's answer do not match, you have obviously left out the fudge factor.

Balfour's Declaration:
          Nothing matters very much in life, and very few things matter at all.

Kirkland's Law:
          The usefulness of any meeting is in inverse proportion to the attendance.

Quade's Law:
          In human relations the easiest thing to achieve is a misunderstanding.

The Secret-of-Success Law:
          Discover all unpredictable errors before they occur.

Mosher's Law:
          It's better to retire too soon than too late.

Nef's Law:
          There's a solution to every problem; the only difficulty is finding it.

The Numbers Maxim:
          Figures rarely lie; liars frequently figure.

Doelger's Thoughts:

  1. Forecasting is a difficult thing - especially when it deals with the future.
  2. If you're not rejected at least three times a week, you're not really trying.
  3. A leap beyond the state of the art may be into a bucket of worms.

Weber's Law:
          Too many decisions are measured with a micrometer, marked with chalk, and cut with an ax.

Beau Jacques's Theorem of Personnel Management:
          Beware of the employee heralded as a man ahead of his time; on Wednesday he'll be wishing it was Friday.

Peter's Principle:
          In every hierarchy, whether it be government or business, each employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence; every post tends to be filled by an employee incompetent to execute its duties.

Peter's Corollaries:

  1. Incompetence knows no barriers of time or place.
  2. Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
  3. If at first you don't succeed, try something else.

Senator James Hamilton Lewis's Observation:
          One man plus courage is a majority.

Mrs. Truman's Corollary:
          The amount of heat in the kitchen is directly proportional to the amount of fire in the attic.

The Fifty-Sixth Vice President's Thought:
          Reform always comes from below. No man with four aces asks for a new deal.

Heller's Law:
          The first myth of management is that it exists.

Bula's Basic Laws:

  1. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This explains the assured future of the security blanket, in all its forms.
  2. The pen is mightier than the sword, but you must have money in the bank to back up that check.
  3. Ginsberg's only hope: if you can't win, break even, or even quit the game, scheme to alter the rules.

Hunt's Rumination:
          The one sitting, contributing nothing, is a supervisor.

Post's Postulate:
          Power, like virtue, is its own reward.

The Iron Law of Distribution:
          Them that has gits.

The IBM Pollyanna Principle:
          Machines should work. People should think.

McFadden's Truism:
          A committee is a group that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

Steiner's Philosophical Observations:

  1. In business, as well as in chess, the winner is the one who makes the next to last misake.
  2. At business meetings the one unmatched asset is the ability to yawn with your mouth closed.
  3. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative
  4. Trivial matters take up more time because we know more about them than important matters.

Van Roy's Postulates:

  1. He who hesitates is bossed.
  2. A meeting is no substitute for progress.
  3. It isn't who you know, it's who you "yes."
  4. The wheels of progress are not turned by cranks.
  5. The ignorant always seem so certain and the intelligent so uncertain.
  6. It's much easier to make money than it is to make a living.
  7. A desk is a wastebasket with drawers.
  8. The other man's word is an opinion, yours is the truth, and your boss's is law.

Peter's Theorem:
          Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.

Johnson's Corollary to Heller's Law:
          Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within your organization.

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