I've posted some of these management gems previously but I've been adding to the list over the years. I can't provide sources for all of them (some came from forum comments) but, based upon the big company bosses I've known, they all sound like real-life remarks:

  1. "Am I the only one around here with half a brain?!"
  2. "An ounce of appearance is worth a pound of performance."
  3. "Because I'm the boss, you can't hold me accountable for everything I say."
  4. "Bonuses in my department are rewarded to team players who have demonstrated an appreciation for my leadership."
  5. "Do this quickly. It's a no-brainer, which is why I assigned it to you."
  6. "During this salary review we're supposed to discuss last year's accomplishments and next year's goals. But don't worry about next year's goals, because you'll probably be laid off."
  7. "I am morally, ethically and philosophically opposed to the plan endorsed by our vice president, but that doesn't mean I won't support it."
  8. "I don't want to force this decision on you. It would be much easier if you just agree."
  9. "I know my plan won't work but don't disagree with me in front of others."
  10. "I know that I am great leader. This department, however, needs help learning to follow."
  11. "I know there is a communication problem in my department. I just don't want to talk about it."
  12. "I know what the research says but I have to go with my gut on this one."
  13. "I know your performance review is due today but let's wait until tomorrow. I'm not in the mood for all that negativity."
  14. "I never micromanage, but I do need to know everything that's going on."
  15. "I only say those things to look tough. I'm reshaping my image for advancement."
  16. "I said I would make you a promise and I did. I didn't say I would keep it."
  17. "I think you prefer your idea just because it's better than mine."
  18. "I tried to email you to tell you that my email wasn't working, but my email wasn't working."
  19. "If you are on schedule, then your plan was not aggressive enough. If you are behind schedule, you must be goofing off."
  20. "I'm not too concerned with the accuracy of the data, just as long as there is data."
  21. "I'm sorry I can't give you a raise. All nine of your co-workers, who had their evaluations earlier today, complained about their small raises and I made adjustments to make them happy. Now all the salary budget is gone and I have nothing for you."
  22. "I'm sorry if I ever gave you the impression your input would have any effect on my final decision."
  23. "I've already made up my mind but I am eager to hear everything you have to say on the matter."
  24. "I've noticed that our 'cost of goods sold' rises whenever we experience greater sales. What can we do to reverse this trend?"
  25. "Next time, when you leave me an important voice mail message, do the right thing--call me and let me know it's there."
  26. "OK, you bunch of cry babies, what's this I hear about poor morale?"
  27. "Our efforts to expand overseas are hampered because they don't speak English."
  28. "Our main problem is that the customer doesn't seem to understand our strategy."
  29. "It is true that nobody got raises this year. However, some people did get salary corrections."
  30. "The information provided during the meeting was true at the time. The facts have changed since then."
  31. "The most important thing about this project is that it appear to be successful."
  32. "These are tough economic times. Do you realize my Mercedes is three years old?"
  33. "This is just a suggestion but remember who's making it."
  34. "We don't have good benefits because employees don't seem to stay with us that long."
  35. "We don't want employees to read their evaluations before the review meetings. It might make them angry."
  36. "We fully support diversity and in 'Stage Two' of our diversity program, we expect to include more minorities and women."
  37. "We passed over a lot of good people to get the ones we hired."
  38. "We've experienced dramatic increases in our long-distance bills. In the future, please exercise restraint concerning long-distance phone calls, faxes, and emails."
  39. "What this department lacks is leadership."
  40. "Whenever you have an idea, discuss it with me first, and if I feel it is a good idea, I'll tell the others. You must learn to let me take credit for your good ideas. That's what teamwork is all about."
  41. "Why didn't you get a bonus check this year? By the time I got to people whose name began with a 'Z,' quite frankly I was tired and wanted to stop."
  42. "Yes, your idea had my blessing but not my approval."
  43. "You are an extremely valuable employee but only 'outstanding' employees get raises."
  44. "You have to explain this product to the customer at least three times before he'll realize how much he needs it."
  45. "You shouldn't be that unhappy about your raise. I wanted to fire you."
  46. "Your report says that 65 percent of our customers live outside the United States. But where are the rest of our customers? Please pay attention to these details in the future."
  47. "I threw your suggestion away. Only managers can make suggestions."
  48. "It has come to my attention that your salary is well below the industry average. Therefore I am changing your title."
  49. "We have too many unproductive meetings. Please put aside next Wednesday for an all-day meeting to discuss this issue."

As always, if you have your own examples to contribute, feel free to add them as comments.

Published on: Oct 10, 2014
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