02 Leadership Viewpoints

10 Aphorisms That’ll Take You Places in the Corporate Hierarchy

Would you please take this seriously?

Image courtesy Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Always remember

  1. Don’t let work get in the way of appearing to work
  2. The less you do, the more you’ll progress
  3. Being in the mind of the boss is the real mindfulness
  4. The appearance of innovation is enough. Don’t become lost actually attempting it.
  5. Dispatch a dangerously good idea by throwing it back for implementation to the Smart Alec who piped up with it
  6. Practice the fine art of blending potential claimability with plausible deniability
  7. Even if you have no clue about the topic listen carefully to the others in the meeting and get the last wise comment in
  8. Blazon anything over three years old as your single-handed achievement
  9. Practise the unfailing art of subtle sycophancy
  10. If all else fails at the top, restructure. In fact, do it anyway.

Every large company has a golden period in which it contributes something new valued by human society. It grows on the back of this but reaches a plateau. Then it is forced to coast along while desperately trying to restore the days of glorious double-digit growth. It is futile, and the several thousand people at the top of the heap and just below expend all their energy justifying their existence and getting noticed for progress.

The aphorisms above are the first cut from my observations. They are also a hat tip to one of humankind’s greatest treasures — Scott Raymond Adams. I would love to extend the list (with credit) with more from your experience.


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