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Management Quotations



Catch up

Take the following quips into account and see if any of them could have a place in the fair art of living, as "The other side must be heard too."

1. No things and occurrences are basically simple and clear, they just appear that way (try it out by quantum physics)

If you make something very clear, some people get steadily confused by it.

Whatever you set out to do, something else has to be done first. And maybe you yourself should not do that "something else" either.

Every activity takes more time than you first reckoned with, and perhaps even more time than have.

If you work at something long enough, it will be damaged and perhaps break. ◊

Things are seldom as simple as it first seems.
"Don't underestimate your enemy" can be derived from similar grasps of things.

Those who are similar, may be expected to get confused over similar things.

2. To fool some people, just decide that you are to be reckoned with

What you decide to do may cost far more than first reckoned with. ◊

To fool some people well enough you may have to get confused and fool yourself and freak out. And it should not be worth it.

3. Getting involved in something has its central dangers.

It's often easier to make a commitment or get involved in something than to get out of it.

Trust nobody: Then, if you get disappointed, remorse and contrition (maybe other harsh feelings too) may be mixed with not a little singular pleasure. ◊ "Be on your guard and trust next to nobody outside your family or clan," appears to be at work and rule in nature on an allround basis, as you can see.

Those who appear to be "just common" people, cater to mudslinging and other forms of quite simple, damaging activities. They may further pad themselves by conform, unsound enjoyments of life. To make fools of those who stubbornly strive not to conform but have the guts to realize themselves, may give conformists great but sordid pleasure.



  1. Appearances appear to be clear.
  2. Decide you are all right, to make others think so too.
  3. Hope to get involved in something which offers better than sordid pleasures.

IN NUCE Appear all right to get involved in things.


Boss Rules

BE YOUR own boss. You need to boss - at least yourself - in order to keep your family up and going. Good management is what the OK boss aspires to and often succeeds in. The bet is you can learn many useful, handy skills by distilled boss lore - such as taking good care of valuable time.

Some of the boons of good bossing:

  • Increasing the basic OKness
  • Coping with crisis
  • Communicating expertly or politely, often as on the job
  • Reducing conflict ◊
  • Understanding the importance of recognition
  • Increasing your awareness (3)
  • Increasing productivity (5)
  • Discovering OK and not-OK attitudes
  • Adhering to ground rules of efficient bossing

All the points were distilled from Dr Muriel James' The OK Boss, p 2-3.




This part is quite for fun. The implied teachings can be many, because the phrases that follow, may be twisted and the humour wry - and so on. You're halfway expected to arrive at your own constructive lessons from the axioms, in part by nut-cracking some of them as fits.

Fair, adjoining lessons fit for family life and further, may be formed in the light of things like:

"Be prepared and bulwark so that many bad things don't come your way at all. Take care. Safety first. Look before you leap. Bargain well, and bulwark better. You have to protect yourself. Climbing carefully is easier than falling from the cliff. Studying is better than loafing - Old age is OK to think in. One must manage. There are overt rules or "laws" and obscure teachings too" and so on. One or more of these may fit you.

Frisk half-norms to explore further

LoAsk no permit in what is really a bargaining position

THE ONLY time suppressive measures work, is when they are used on abandoned positions.

Be prepared that whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.

Ask for permit only if you don't need it anyway.

If you cannot understand it, it is not always intuitively obvious either.

Any given program, when running, is in the process of becoming obsolete. [The Frisk Technology Principle] ◊

The more an item costs, the farther you may have to send it for repairs. [Express Hint on Value]

Before you find your handsome prince, you could have to kiss a lot of frogs.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined. [Horner's Five-Thumb Postulate]

Four-wheel-drive implies getting stuck in more inaccessible places. [Close to Phillips's Law]

1. The more general the title of a course, the less you will learn from it. 2. The more specific a title is, the less you will be able to apply it. [Rominger's Rules for Students]

Be prepared that some of the qualities that most attract a woman to a man are the very ones she cannot stand after on.

Money can neither cure nor buy love, but it could get you an awful bargaining position.

Virginity can’t be halfway cured.

When all else fails, why not read the instructions?

When team members are finally in a position to help the team, it turns out they have quit the team. [Mastering Politics too]

LoFew things motivate man more than unreliable reasons

HAVE NO sex with anyone in the same office. (3)

Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won't either.

If it doesn't matter, it does not matter.

Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day's work.

After you've mailed your last card, you will receive a card from someone you overlooked. [Christmas Card Judiciousness]

In your life-time you may never run out of things that can go wrong. ◊

Computers can be unreliable, but humans even more so. A system which depends on human reliability is thus unreliable.

All the good life partners will be taken. If the person isn't taken, there's a reason. (Corollary to 1) [Frisk Love Laws]

LoEnjoy a good partner any way it's possible

FIND A good partner and enjoy it. (5)

The more grandiose the plan, the greater the chance for failure. [Knagg]



  1. Decide what options you have first, before bargaining and petitioning.
  2. Unreliable reasons tend to motivate lots of persons.
  3. Enjoy a good partner anyhow.

IN NUCE about this set of management quotations Decide for what reasons a savoury partner could enjoy you.



To Rise

Captain Ed Murphy, Lawrence J. Peter and more

Captain Edward C. Murphy (1918 -) was a US soldier and the originator of the maxim: "If anything can go wrong, it will." It has variants. [Dq 290]

The Peter Principle from the book with the same title, "In any hierarchy, every individual tends to rise to his level of incompetence", was formed by a Canadian writer and editor of quotations, Lawrence J. Peter (1919 -). Peter co-authored the book with Raymond Hull.

LoThe other side can go wrong, not unlike the whole universe

IN ORDER to get a loan you must first prove you don't need it. [John]

Someday you will die. If you read this, you are not dead yet. [The Good Chance Hope]

In any hierarchy, every individual tends to rise to his level of incompetence. [The Peter Principle, Ch. 1, in Dq 308, and Tq 461]

The dirt is also on the other side. [Frisk Principle of Window Cleaning]

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. [Winston Churchill]

If at first you don't succeed, have you considered something else? [The Frisk Look on Alternative Solutions and Expediencies]

Any paint, regardless of quality or composition, will adhere permanently to any surface, prepared or otherwise, if applied accidentally. [The Frisk Look on Painting]

If you ask your husband to pick up five items at the store and then add one more as an afterthought, he'll forget two of the first five. [Wives]

If anything can go wrong, someone will see to it that it will. [Variant]

If one views his problem closely enough he will recognize himself as a part of the problem. [Ducharm's Axiom]

Keep up with the Grabowskis . . . you'll never make enough to keep up with the Joneses. [Advice on Status]

Smile . . . tomorrow may be worse . . . might not even happen! [The Philosophy]

The book or periodical most vital to the completion of your term paper may be missing from the library too. [Fit for the Term Paper] Corollary: If it is available, the most important page might be torn out. [Prepare in advance . . .]

One missed photographic opportunity creates a desire to purchase two additional pieces of equipment. [Dowlings on Photography]

The time it takes to rectify a situation could be inversely proportional to the time it took to do the damage. Example: It takes longer to glue a vase together than to break one. [Possible of Restitution]

A notorious expert is someone from out of town. [Note]

Some fear that no man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session. [Jacquin's Postulate]

When taking something apart to fix a minor malfunction, you will cause a major malfunction. [Of Construction] ◊

One had better rise to recognize muddy ramifications of malfunctioning. [T. Kinnes]

Work is done by those individuals who have not yet risen to their level of incompetence. [Peter Principle Corollary]

When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. [Muir's Law]

Incompetence knows no level of time or place. [The Frisk Invading-Norm]

An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true. [The Cardinal Conundrum]

We should refrain from making very harsh judgments of people just because they happen to be dirty, no-good slobs.

Any surviving best shots are ruined when someone inadvertently opens the darkroom door and all of the dark leaks out. [a Photographer's Look-Out]

A solution breeds further problem ramifications. [Frisk ]

Washing your car to make it rain hardly ever works. [The Incompatible Trendency]

LoIf the hard way works, try to get to it before it's too late

A COMMITTEE is twelve men doing the work of one. [A John F. Kennedy Comment on Committees]

The one who snores will fall asleep first. [Bedfellow's Fear]

A whole lot of things could get worse under pressure. [Law of Thermodynamics]

Doing it the hard way can work better and also be easier in the long run. [Quite Paradoxical Tenet ] ◊

A crisis is when you can't say "let's forget the whole thing." [Ferguson's Precept]

If you don't need it and don't want it you could be offered it and get it. [Imponderable Principle of Supply]

1. If it's green or wriggles, consider it biology. 2. If it stinks, it's also chemistry. 3. If it doesn't make anything to look at, it could be physics at work. [Frisk Guide to Mondén Science]

When you need to knock on wood is when you realize the world's composed of aluminium and vinyl. [Flugg]

Don't talk to anyone you don't know. [A Longfellow Elevator Rule]

LoThe easy things can eventually wear out

CREATE the impression that you have already reached your level of incompetence, and then new options open. [The Frisk Rule for Endearing Lifestyle]

Avoid talking with anyone you do know when anyone you don't know enters the elevator. [Cf. another Longfellow Elevator Rule]

Spend enough time in confirming the need and the need will eventually wear out. [Frisk Prognosis Tip]

When reviewing your notes before an exam, the most important ones too must be legible. [Advance Thinking]

It's hardly as easy as it looks. [Frisk]

Hard-hearted employees in a hierarchy do object to massive incompetence in colleagues, and their bluffing. [Frisk Paradox] ◊



  1. The other side can go wrong, not unlike the whole universe,
  2. If the hard way works, try to get to it before it's too late.
  3. Easy things of living can eventually wear out.

IN NUCE about this set of management quotations Another side of the Way (Tao) is ease. Going for ease suggests a need for potent work, although those who need it the most may never see it!



Cyril Northcote Parkinson

THE British historian, professor, and author Cyril Northcote Parkinson, PhD was born on July 30, 1909 in Durham, England, and died on March 9, 1993 in Canterbury. He won renown as the formulator of "Parkinson's Law," the satiric dictum that "Work expands to fill the time available for its completion."

He was a quite obscure academic before his dictums (called "laws" for the fun of it). The first of them appeared in 1955. Parkinson later devised a second law, "Expenditure rises to meet income". It was meant as a jibe at government functionaries inclined to expand their own ranks indefinitely, so long as taxes could be raised.

He based his comments on the nature of bureaucracy on his experiences as a British army staff officer during World War II. Written in a deadpan but mercilessly funny style, Parkinson's Economist essays were issued in book form in Parkinson's Law, or The Pursuit of Progress (1958).

Apart from the books that made him famous, Parkinson wrote many historical works and won the acclaim of critics as well. We may say he was quite broad-minded. A sample:

LoComplexities can persuade bureaucrats

  • Expansion means complexity; and complexity decay. [Parkinson's Third Law]
  • Delay is the deadliest form of denial. [Parkinson's Law of Delay]
  • If there is a way to delay an important decision the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it. [Parkinson's Fifth Law]
  • It is the essence of grantsmanship to persuade the Foundation executives that it was THEY who suggested the research project and that you were a belated convert, agreeing reluctantly to all they had proposed. [Parkinson's Principle of Non-Origination]
  • The effectiveness of a telephone conversation is in inverse proportion to the time spent on it. [Parkinson's Law of the Telephone] ◊
  • Officials make work for each other. [Parkinson's Axiom]
  • The matters most debated in a deliberative body tend to be the minor ones where everybody understands the issues.

LoAvailable people produce expenditures

  • Work expands to fill the time available for its completion; the thing to be done swells in perceived importance and complexity in a direct ratio with the time to be spent in its completion. [Parkinson's First Law] (3)
  • Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. General recognition of this fact is shown in the proverbial phrase "It is the busiest man who has time to spare." [Parkinson's Law, Ch. 1.]
  • An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals. [Parkinson's Axiom] ◊
  • The rise in the total of those employed is governed by Parkinson's Law and would be much the same whether the volume of work were to increase, diminish or even [?] disappear. [Parkinson, in Dq 304]
  • The number of people in any working group tends to increase regardless of the amount of work to be done. [Parkinson's Fourth Law]
  • Policies designed to increase production increase employment; policies designed to increase employment do everything but.
  • Expenditures rise to meet income. [Parkinson's Second Law]

LoParkinson's work goes deep into substrata of society

  • Successful research attracts the bigger grant which makes further research impossible. [Parkinson's Law of Medical Research] (5)
  • An enterprise employing more than 1000 people becomes a self-perpetuating empire, creating so much internal work that it no longer needs any contact with the outside world. [Parkinson's Law of 1000]
  • The progress of science varies inversely with the number of journals published. [Parkinson's Sixth Law]
  • The chief product of an automated society is a widespread and deepening sense of boredom.

Why all these so-called rules? Parkinson's Law holds that work expands to fill all available time. "Work expands to fill (and often exceed) the time allowed." [Parkinson's Law - see also above] Murphy's adage simply states that if something can go wrong, it will. You should counteract that.



  1. Complexities can persuade bureaucrats.
  2. Available people produce expenditures.
  3. Parkinson's work goes deep into substrata of society.

IN NUCE about these Management QuotationsComplexities can produce work. Simplicity counteracts overdoing work.

Management quotations, END MATTER

Management quotations, LITERATURE  

Dkw: James, Muriel. The OK Boss. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1975.

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