20 Questions with Mr. Cliché
Originally published: 03.01.13 by Terry Tanker
1. Is being a cliché expert a full-time job?
Bottom line is I have a full plate 24/7.
2. Is it hard to keep up with the seemingly endless supply of clichés that spew from business?
Some days, I don’t have the bandwidth. It’s like drinking from a fire hydrant.
3. So it’s really difficult?
Harder than nailing Jell-O to the wall.
4. Where do most clichés come from?
Stakeholders push the envelope until it’s outside the box.
5. How do you track them once they’ve been coined?
It’s like herding cats.
6. Can you predict whether a phrase is going to become a cliché?
Yes. I skate to where the puck’s going to be. Because if you aren’t the lead dog, you’re not providing a customer-centric proactive solution.
7. Do people understand your role as a cliché expert?
No, they can’t get their arms around that. But, they aren’t incented to.
8. How do people know you’re a cliché expert?
I walk the walk and talk the talk.
9. How did you learn to think this way?
I wasn’t wired this way, but it became mission-critical as I strategically focused on my go-forward plan.
10. How do you develop your talent?
It’s not rocket science. When you drill down to the granular level, it’s
11. How do you know if you’re successful?
At the end of the day, it’s all about robust, world-class language solutions.
12. How do you stay ahead of others in the buzzword industry?
Net-net, my value proposition is based on maximizing synergies and being first to market with a leveraged, value-added deliverable. That’s the opportunity space on a level playing field.
13. Do all business leaders fall into the cliché trap?
If you walk like a duck and talk like a duck, you’re a duck. And yes, they all drink the Kool-Aid.
14. Word has it you’re looking to go international.
Go big or go home.
15. What should business leaders focus on?
They have to wrap their heads around the fact they need to become data driven to improve ROI.
16. Do you read The Wall Street Journal?
My knowledge base is deselective of fiber media.
17. Does your girlfriend understand any of this?
My vision is to monetize scalable supply chains, and she is good with that.
18. When are you going to quit this?
I may eventually exit the business to pursue other career opportunities.
19. Do you have a favorite cliché?
Life is good.
20. I think we’re done.
Take it and run with it.
Articles by Terry Tanker
Jason Stom, president of Clear the Air
Career Advice is a Dirty Job
Winston Hancock, owner of Gilman Heating and Cooling
Steven Blue, CEO of Miller Ingenuity
Do What You Say