10 Nonsense Sayings You Hear in Business

Last Updated May 18, 2010 5:23 AM EDT

Do you have a difficult time with certain colleagues at work?

In Working with the Enemy, Mike Leibling attempts to lay down the framework for surviving in a hostile workplace. He details ten essential survival strategies, including "stop feeling there are no choices" and "keep things real and in perspective".

Leibling's seventh survival strategy is "don't automatically believe other people", and he reminds the reader that almost all 'advice' is simply another person's opinion. He also urges people to be cautious of so-called wisdom, and lists a range of conventional sayings and why they simply don't make any sense in business.

Here are 10 that BNET UK has come up with:

  1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained - that approach is exactly how the banking crisis started.
  2. Where there's a will there's a way - of course, you often need a lot more than just raw willpower to get things done.
  3. Better late than never - unless you've got a deadline to hit, then it might as well be never.
  4. Many hands make light work - although someone's got to manage all that, and if there's poor co-ordination it would probably be easier just to have a few less hands.
  5. There's no smoke without fire - but that's not always a bad thing.
  6. All good things must come to an end - that's a bit defeatist, don't you think? There's no reason why a good thing can't stay good.
  7. The early bird catches the worm - whereas the smart bird knows when to get up and when to let himself have another half an hour in bed.
  8. Beggars can't be choosers - tell that to the homeless man who turned down the croissant I offered him the other day, or anyone who sells anything to customers. Everyone's a chooser. Fact.
  9. Better safe than sorry - although spending the rest of your life sorry might not be so desirable.
  10. Don't go near the water until you learn how to swim - but there's also no way to learn swimming unless you go in the water, is there?
Have any of these sayings been thrown at you lately? Do you like to give - or keep hearing - any others that don't make any sense? Leave a comment and let us know.