62 sophisticated cliches that make you sound like you have an MBA


  1. ROI [used in any sentence] = Look at me, I’m very financially-minded, even if I never took any finance classes in school
  2. Let’s circle back to that/Let’s put that in the parking lot/let’s touch base on that later/let’s take this off-line/Let’s put a pin in that for now = Shut up and let’s go back to what I was talking about
  3. It’s a paradigm shift = I don’t know what’s going on in our business. But we’re not making as much money as we used to
  4. It’s like the book “Crossing the Chasm”/”Blue Ocean”/”Good To Great” / “Tipping Point” / “Outliers” = I’ve never read any of these books but I sound literate if I quote  from them. And, besides, you cretins probably never read them either to  call me out on it
  5. We don’t have enough boots on the ground = I don’t want to be fired for this disastrous product/country launch,  so I’m going to sound tough referring to the military and say I don’t  have enough resources
  6. I’m putting a stake in the ground here… = I’m a leader, simply because I’m using this cliche
  7. Let’s take the 30,000 foot view… = I like to think I see the big picture
  8. We’re data-driven = We try not to make decisions by the seat of our pants. When possible, we try to base them in facts and case studies
  9. We need to wrap our heads around this = Gosh, I never thought of that. We need to talk about without you in the room…
  10. We’re going through a re-org = No one knows what the heck is going on at the moment
  11. It’s a win-win = Hey, we both get something out of this (even though I’m really trying to get the best from you)
  12. Let’s blue sky this/let’s ballpark this = Let’s shoot around a bunch of ideas since we have no clue what to do
  13. I’m a bit of a visionary = I’m a bit of an egomaniac and narcissist
  14. I’m a team player/we only hire team players = I hope everyone on the team thinks this is a meritocracy, even though I’m the dictator in charge
  15. We think outside the box here/color outside the lines = We wouldn’t know about how to do something innovative if it came up to us and bit us in the behind
  16. I/we/you don’t have the bandwidth = Since we cut 60% of our headcount, we’re all doing the job of 3 people, so we’re all burned out
  17. Let’s right-size it = Let’s whack/fire a bunch of people
  18. We need to manage the optics of this = How can we lie about this in a way people will believe?
  19. This is where the rubber meets the road = Stop talking about hypothetical solutions; we need to do something now.  And don’t screw it up
  20. This is creative destruction = I’ve never read Joseph Schumpeter but our core business is getting killed so it’s your responsibility to come up with a new product the market will buy
  21. By way of housekeeping = This makes the boring stuff I’m about to say sound more official
  22. Let’s square the circle = I’m someone who can unify two team members’ views and sound important
  23. It’s about synergies/1 + 1 = 3 = I don’t get the math either, but it sounds like more and more is better, right?
  24. Who’s going to step up to the plate? = One of you is going to do this and it’s not going to be me
  25. We need to monetize/strategize/analyze/incentivize = When in doubt, stick “-ize” on the end of a word and say we’ve got to do this and 9 out of 10 times, it will sound action-oriented
  26. We did a Five Forces/SWOT analysis/Value Chain analysis = We didn’t really do any of that, but none of you probably even remember Michael Porter, so what the heck
  27. It was a perfect storm = We really screwed up but we’re going to blame a bunch of factors that are out of our hands (especially weather)
  28. At the end of the day…. = OK, enough talking back and forth, we’re going to do what I want to do
  29. We’re customer-focused/proactive/results-oriented = That can’t be bad, right?  This is motherhood and apple pie stuff
  30. Our visibility into the quarter is a little fuzzy = Sales just fell off a cliff
  31. Well, we’re facing some headwinds there = You put your finger on the area we’re panicking over
  32. I’m an agent of change = This makes it sound like I know how to handle the chaos that our business is constantly going through
  33. We’ve got to do a little more due diligence there = Don’t have a clue but does that legal term make me sound detail-oriented?
  34. We have to tear down the silos internally = Our organizational structure is such a mess that I’m going to be under-mined by other departments at every turn
  35. It’s the old 80-20 rule = As far as I know, this rule applies to tons of different things, but I throw it out if I notice someone over or underproducing.
  36. We need to manage expectations = Get ready to start sucking up to people
  37. My 2 cents is… = This opinion is worth a heck of a lot more than 2 cents
  38. I’m going to sound like a broken record here… = I want to clearly point out to you idiots that I’ve made this point several times before
  39. We’ve got too many chiefs and not enough Indians = I want to be the Chief
  40. Going forward = Don’t screw up like this again
  41. My people know I’ve got an open door policy = I’ve told my direct reports to come to me if they have a problem, so why should I feel bad if they complain I’m too busy to talk to them?
  42. It’s gone viral = Someone sent a tweet about this
  43. I’m drinking from a fire hose right now = I want a little sympathy over here, because I’m tired of carrying this company on my back
  44. I know you’ve been burning the candle on both ends = Get ready to do some more.  Reply with something about bandwidth.  If that doesn’t work, mention the fire hose
  45. It’s scalable = Hoards of people will adopt this (in theory)
  46. What’s our go-to-market? = Has anyone planned this out, because I’ve been too busy?
  47. It’s basic blocking and tackling = How could you screw this up? I also played high school football and those were the best days of my life.
  48. We’ve got it covered from soup to nuts = I have no idea what that means, but don’t you dare question my prep work on it
  49. We don’t want to get thrown under the bus = So let’s throw someone else first
  50. What are “next steps”? = Did anyone take notes during the last 90 minutes of this meeting?
  51. This is low-hanging fruit = There is no reason you can’t get this done by tomorrow, by yourself
  52. We need a few quick wins = We’ve got to trick people into thinking we know what we’re doing by some successes we can point to and claim as ours
  53. I want to address the elephant in the room = I know you think I’m trying to cover up/gloss over something, so I might as well talk about it
  54. This is the next big thing/new thing = Some of our 20-somethings have told me this is really cool.  I also read it on a blog
  55. What are the best practices on this? = How can I cover my behind that we’re just doing stuff the way other good people have supposedly done this?
  56. This is our deliverable = I know this sounds like something that comes in a body bag, but it makes our PowerPoint sound tougher than it actually is
  57. We’ll loop you in when we need to = You’re not that important to know about all the details on this
  58. I don’t think you’re comparing apples to apples = Let me tell you how you should really think about this issue
  59. Let’s peel back the onion on this = I want to sound thorough so this is a better way of telling you that than simply clearing my throat
  60. He phoned it in = He was too busy checking his email during your presentation that I didn’t listen
  61. I want you to run with this = I just threw you into the deep end of the pool and you’re on your own to figure it out
  62. This time it’s different because… = Don’t wait for the explanation… simply run for the hills
Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/eric… or Quora to read all 89 clichés

About bryantanner

I'm obsessed with learning via the appropriate technology. My professional mission is to effectively deliver instruction to learners in a way that yields the greatest results for all stakeholders involved.
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