Mr. KnowItAll – We believe this guy thought up the most ridiculous, grandiloquent and pretentious set of corporate buzzwords circulated throughout the business world. He speaks from the “I’m smarter than you” tone of voice and often uses phrases that can be reduced to three-letter acronyms (like KPIs). This boss obviously wakes up extra early in the morning to come up with these terms.
Possible Contributions: Stop-Gap-Solution, Mission Critical, Strategic Business Framework (SBF), Breakthrough Performance Leadership (BPL), Triangulate, Incentivize and Business Improvement Process (BIP).
Mrs. AlwaysPositive – This boss can’t do any wrong (at least in her eyes). She’s genuinely nice to work with and always says the right thing at the right time. The problem is, she says way too many buzzwords! She’s an expert at learning and using the latest edition of corporate jargon floating around the business world. If you want to know the latest corporate buzzword, tune-in during her portion of the conference call. Make sure you have your notepad handy because she’ll fire them out quickly!
Possible Contributions: Throw Under the Bus, Engagement, Leverage, Reach-out, Skill-set, Thought-Leadership, Driver, Paradigm Shift, Customer Centricity, Drinking the Kool-Aid.
Mr. LoudMouth – This boss is one of the most aggravating of them all because you can hear him and his ridiculousness from a mile away. Apparently the term “inside voice” has never applied to him. But even worse than his ear-piercing voice is his obnoxious laugh which can be heard from the most distant crevices of the office. Have you ever wondered how ridiculous ESPN catch phrases crept into the work place? This guy.
Possible Contributions: Score Points, Monday Morning Quarterback, Foul Tip, Home Run, Rounding Third, Par for the Course, Step Up to the Plate, Slam Dunk, Alley-Oop and Ping.
Mr. YesMan– This boss has been with the company for well over 30 years and simply serves as an old parrot for the big bosses by repeating everything they utter with uncanny precision. As the single biggest ambassador of the company, donned head-to-toe with company paraphernalia, he contributes absolutely nothing original and is full of ridiculous proverbs of days long gone. Without a thought he would risk his life for the company and will gladly end your professional life if you got in his way. You’d better fly straight when you’re around Mr. Yesman because he will rat your out to the big bosses as a trouble-maker (and yes he stills uses that old term). What a sad, spineless sack of hot air.
Survival Tip: Disarm him by rattling off some business buzzwords and be sure to finish by saying how grateful you are to work for such a wonderful organization that is filled with the best and brightest talent.
Possible Contributions: N/A. Remember, he is incapable of producing anything authentic. He embodies the definition of a “Yes Man” in every sense.
BigBoss – The supreme, undisputed champion of corporate jargon spewing. BigBoss single-handily is responsible for almost all of the buzzwords that are used throughout corporate offices around the world. “But how can this be?” you ask? Well, not only can BigBoss go unchallenged from an organizational structure standpoint, but no one has the courage to stand up and correct BigBoss’ overwhelming cloud of fresh business buzzword generation. Oh we’ve all seen or at least heard of a BigBoss and his or her many exploits. When BigBoss comes to town, red carpet roll out, work spaces are made tidy, ties, stockings and blazers come out, the break room amazingly turns silent, and brown-nosers make their individual rounds to BigBoss’ corner cavern to say “hello.” All of this to avoid appearing irreverent.
With firm handshakes, dubious smiles and annoying shoulder pats (don’t you just hate that?), BigBoss makes her presence felt. And of course we cannot forget the BigBoss’ stale jokes that force pitiful workers to dig deep within their being to find an unwarranted laugh. Good times aye? The very existence and persistence of every tired business buzzword and ridiculous three-letter acronym (that everyone pretends to know) lives and dies with BigBoss. If there were a legal system created to punish business buzzword offenders–BigBoss would be Public Enemy Número Uno. When it comes to corporate buzzword malfeasance, King Kong and Godzilla ain’t got crap on BigBoss. In underground corporate buzzword circles, BigBoss is one bad motha….OK I’m getting carried away–but I think you get the point.
Possible Contributions: way too many to list…