Business Truisms


I found a post listing 20 Business Truisms on the bnet site – click here for the original post.

I’ve edited the original list and added a few more from the discussion that follows the post. Of course the truisms are bland and obvious – that’s what makes them truisms – but their very lack of hard content makes them an ideal starting point for the students to add content based on their own experiences.


1 Cut and paste the list below into a Word doc, then print it out and photocopy one per student. Alternatively choose three or four of the truisms and write them on the board.

2 Ask students for personal stories that demonstrate the truth (or otherwise) of these observations about human behaviour. Allow some thinking time before you begin the stories.

  1. Whether negotiation is strong or weak depends entirely on your goals.
  2. Don’t jump ship before you hit the iceberg.
  3. Anger is never about what you think you’re angry about.
  4. Confidence comes from success, knowledge comes from failure.
  5. If you’re miserable, quit and do something else. If you’re still miserable, it’s you.
  6. People won’t perform for those they don’t respect.
  7. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you won’t be successful at it.
  8. When you have problems with others, look inside yourself for answers.
  9. Whine and complain all you want; nobody is interested.
  10. The customer isn’t always right, but he’s still the customer.
  11. Become part of the solution, not part of the problem.
  12. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.
  13. All analysis begins with complete and accurate information.
  14. Perception is reality.
  15. Just because it was done last year does not mean that it was done correctly.
  16. Don’t perform a task you don’t understand.
  17. Don’t burn your bridges.
  18. Don’t gossip. The coffee machine is a minefield in the workplace.
  19. Stay away from office romances. They always go wrong.
  20. The CEO’s secretary is almost as powerful as the CEO.