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In Praise Of Clichés
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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2014 | 7:11:47 AM
Re: Talk vs. Walk
I think it can be summed up saying that clichés aren't all bad and if you recognize that they are simplistic looks at human nature they can be used effectively.  It's amazing how motivated some people get from a seemingly simple catch phrase so why not use them if they work.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2014 | 9:04:47 PM
Re: Talk vs. Walk
@zaious    Good point, companies force cliches all the time and usually those that get the farthest up the ladder are able to recite these cliches and may actually believe them.  

Or at least fake it.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2014 | 9:01:21 PM
A Well placed Cliche can Do Wonders
Really interesting topic, that of cliches.   I agree while often trite, using the right one in the right moment can provide the momentum needed to  meet the challenge ahead. 

I champion originality but there are times when  well placed cliche will do the trick or at least help some.
zaious
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zaious,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2014 | 7:03:15 PM
Re: Talk vs. Walk
There are some cliches that are woven in the culture of some companies. A 'careful' manager might still need to use it (he may not like it himself). 

And, to me, other aspects of human behavior are more vital than the use of cliches. I can stand the cliches from a manager I like.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 4:49:09 PM
Re: Talk vs. Walk
It's much like a really good song that people get sick of because it's overplayed. IOW, "don't hate me because I'm overexposed"
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/14/2014 | 4:42:58 PM
Re: Talk vs. Walk
@laurieanne- Sure, cliche isn't going to save a bad leader. But I've followed good leaders my entire career and they all make much more use of cliche in their communications than they or anyone else would liek to admit.

At the heart of it, there's a reason a cliche is a cliche-- people repeat it so many times because of the inherent wisdom in it that we get tired of hearing it. It certainly seems like a bad idea to ask leaders to find new good ways to say the same thing or worse yet, ask them to say something wrogn just to avoid the cloche.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/14/2014 | 4:38:33 PM
Re: In Praise Of...
@Lorna- Ha! Good idea. I got a good one: "Our vision is to continue to proactively simplify business resources to allow us to endeavor to interactively recontextualise economically sound mindshare."

I believe i've worked at this company before. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/14/2014 | 4:36:21 PM
Re: Really?
@terryb- But "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" isn't the kind of cliche I'm praising. that's the example of a bad leadership cliche.

The type of cliche that MIGHT help in that situation is something like "we pride ourselves on the hard work of our employees" or "we are innovators." These are instructive to the mission and might help create the identity of your workers or influence your culture.

If you make your cliches central to your mission, people have something to fall back on.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 4:22:40 PM
Re: In Praise Of...
I have seen worse than Avon. How about everyone jumps over to the Mission Statement Generator and takes their best shot? http://cmorse.org/missiongen/

 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 3:26:34 PM
Talk vs. Walk
I have worked for polished talkers who were terrible walkers. Unless you back up your words with action, I won't respect you as a leader.

If your actions win my respect but you use the same phrase over and over -- you use a cliche even -- that is not a problem in my book. It may even become a joke between us.

 

 
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