Daily Podcast: Euthanizing Euphemisms
Henry Ford: "You don't build a reputation on what you're going to do." GM CEO Rick Wagoner: "Our team continues to develop further action plans to optimize our operating structure under these new market conditions, improve our cash and funding position, and keep our key product and technology investments on track." I know that many of our Best and Brightest are cubicle-dwellers; workers well-versed in the kind of euphemisms used by managers to obfuscate– I mean "hide" inactivity and incompetence. (My personal pet peeve is verbizing perfectly good nouns, as in "let's action that plan.") Just so we're all on the same page, I'm saying that a great leader does NOT resort to doublespeak and big words when the chips are down. Winston Churchill didn't say "I pledge to maximize my personal contribution to right-sizing the National Socialist Government by exanguination and perspicacity." He said ""I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." If Rick Wagoner really wanted to save GM– and not his own ass– he would start by speaking plain English. As if.