The Wise Words of Business Execs

The Wise Words of Business Execs

Chuck Hester our Director of Corporate Communications at iContact forwarded me a great list of "irritating business phrases" for 2008 last week that he received from Shel Holz.

Over the last few years I've been able to develop a vocabulary that I find common among business execs that includes many of the phrases on this list. Below I have listed a few of my favorite.

Although some people find these irritating I still enjoy most of them quite a bit... but mostly from an entertainment standpoint. Every once in a while for a good laugh I compose an incredibly complicated sentence from a rather simple one just to practice my double speak skills.

  • Value-add
  • Leveraging synergies
  • Bandwidth
  • Best practices
  • Reaching out
  • Drilling down
  • From a 50,000 foot level
  • Bio-break
  • Net net

Our Board of Directors meetings certainly involve a good number of mentions of bandwidth (when referring to a person's ability to accept more responsibility), net net (when requesting the final result of a topic or discussion), 50,000 foot view (when referring to a high level overview of something), and bio-break (when one needs to use the restroom).

Other common executive quips that I like include:

  • Player-coach (a leader who is also a team player)
  • Gray matter (someone with intelligence and experience)
  • Best-in-class (a preferred solution and recognized brand)
  • Cross-functional (an issue that spans multiple departments)

We have a Board meeting tomorrow so I'll update this post with any new good ones I hear. Here are a few that came up in the meeting that I liked.

  • Looking forward (something that is not yet having an effect)
  • Haircut (a discount)
  • Go a long way (something that is effective)