never confuse a memo with reality by richard moran

Posted on February 8, 2009


I love quotes; such nuggets of wisdom, our bite-size reminders for good times, our small comforts at bad times… especially in the workplace.

never-confuse-a-memoIf there are desperate housewives, there are desperate professionals—who read up on volumes upon volumes of leadership and business principles, sharpen or add to skills with training seminars, or suck up to the boss for advancement.

To lighten the burden of professionals, to keep us thinking and doing clearly, thank goodness someone made the time and effort to reiterate what’s important and what’s not.

Here are a few random quotes (some are truly insightful; most are practical):

“Never confuse a memo with reality… most memos from the top are political fantasy.”
“Don’t take a newspaper to the bathroom.”
“Life in business is made up of ambiguous victories and nebulous defeats—claim them all as victories.”
“Don’t be late for meetings. If you are late, don’t make it a big deal, just apologize.”
“Don’t micromanage your people, your projects or your own life.”
“Never in your life say, ‘It’s not my job.’”
“Never assume you can keep major changes a big secret, because you can’t. Employees always know.”
“Don’t take sick days unless you are.”
“Make a ‘to do’ list every day. Crossing things off the list is very satisfying.”
“Never apologize for an idea that didn’t work—but always admit a mistake.”
“Make friends with the guard in the lobby—someday you will forget you i.d. badge.”
“You will never regret spending too much time with your kids.”
“If you think people don’t know what you are really after, think again.”
“The old model said that managers didn’t do anything but ‘manage;’ the new rules say that managers must do.”
“The size of your office is not as important as the size of your paycheck.”
“Keep your desk clean and you will think better.”
“It’s true. Sometimes you’ll be on a roll and everything will click; take maximum advantage. When the opposite is true, hold stead and wait it out.”
“Manage the paradox of being 100 percent committed to what you are doing while keeping an eye open for other opportunities.”
“Boil down your job far enough so that you can describe it to anyone easily.”
“Bring your kids to the office so they can see where you work.”
“Those who do the work should have a say in how it’s to be organized.”
“There is no such thing as job security.” *from top to bottom; how many CEOs have been axed now? *
“Learn to recognize people who are bad medicine and stay away from them.”
“Don’t listen to rock and roll in your office.” **well, you can if you’re wearing a headset*
“Don’t get a reputation for being a climber or a political animal; get a reputation for always doing what is right.”
“Never underestimate the ability of people to develop strange interpretations of anything you write, say, or do.”
“Don’t confuse extensive documentation with insight, and don’t confuse spreadsheets with analysis.”
“Don’t make people feel bad when they make a mistake.”
“A good raise is 10 percent.”

Finally, the ones closest to my heart:
“Being good is important; being trusted is essential.” *very cool*
“Become known for building ideas, not for finding fault.” *very uncool*
“Teamwork will become more and more important. Learn what it is and how to be a good player.” *Work with people, not work them, in other words.*
“Don’t create layers.” *Just get the job done, you know. It becomes clearer in time that layers are mostly self-serving.” *
“Keep the good pens in your desk, otherwise you lose them.” *sigh*
“Never sacrifice quality to make numbers.” *Or come up with a solution that allows you to satisfy quantity and quality.
“Be direct but not confrontational.” *making informed objections is but right and proper! *
“Support recycling. Avoid wasting paper.” *love Mother Earth. *
“The fastest way to create organization change is to change people.” *a ruthless shortcut or a cowardly way out? *
“The fewer the policies and procedures, the better.” *ah red tape, a bureaucrat’s security blanket; a results-driven person’s wet blanket. Procedures and processes are important, but never more important than the results. *
“Treat everyone in the organization with respect and dignity whether it be the janitor or the president. Don’t ever be patronizing.” *I’m appalled at how some people look down on others; they’re plain deluded.” *
“Be loyal to your career, your interests, and yourself.” *love your job but don’t fall in love with your company! loving you back is against the company’s self interest. *

“When someone tells you these are the best years of your life, believe it and act accordingly. They are.”

Quotes can be harnessed as a formidable business weapons too. So I’m keeping quote 206 to myself, because I believe it’s powerful beyond words :p.

Posted in: maybe true