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Work Rules - A

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Accounting, The Four Laws of.
(1) Trial balances don't. (2) Working capital doesn't. (3) Liquidity tends to run out. (4) Return on investments never will.

Acheson's Comment on Experts.
An expert is like a eunuch in a harem—someone who knows all about it but can't do anything about it.

Ackley's Axiom.
The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management.

Ackley's Latest Finding.
If you are a big enough company, your mistakes become standards.

Addis's Admonitions.
(1) If it don't fit in a pigeonhole, maybe it ain't a pigeon. (2) Never play cat-and-mouse games if you're a mouse. (3) Ambiguity is the first refuge of the wrong. (4) The shadow of your goalpost is better than no shade at all.

Addis's Business Wisdom.
(1) Any given company policy, rules, or procedure will outlast everybody's memory of why it was instituted. (2) If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.

Adkins's Rule of Milk and Other Precious Commodities.
The less you have, the more you spill.

Advertising Admonition.
In writing a patent medicine advertisement, first convince the reader that he has the disease he is reading about; second, that it is curable.

Advice to Officers of the British Army.
(1) Ignorance of your profession is likewise best concealed by solemnity and silence, which pass for profound knowledge upon the generality of mankind. A proper attention to these, together with extreme severity, particularly in trifles, will soon procure you the character of a good officer. (2) As you probably did not rise to your present distinguished rank by your own merit, it cannot reasonably be expected that you should promote others on that score. (3) Be sure to give out a number of orders. . . . The more trifling they are, the more it shows your attention to the service; and should your orders contradict one another, it will give you an opportunity of altering them, and find subject for fresh regulations.

Air Force Inertia Axiom.
Consistency is always easier to defend than correctness.

Alan's Theorem.
In any group of eagles, you will find some turkeys.

Allcock's Law of Communication.
The time that passes before you hear about an event is in direct proportion to the extent to which it affects you.

Allen's Reassurance.
He's got more talent in his whole body than you've got in your little finger.

Allen's Rule of Universal Constancy.
The only thing constant in the Navy is the varying rate of change.

Allen's Tenet.
The strength of one's opinion on any matter in controversy is inversely proportional to the amount of knowledge that the person has on that subject.

Aman's Discovery.
Management is always trying to fine-tune the solution before it defines the problem.

Ames's Working Hypothesis.
The self-employed person is uniquely in a position to define success however he pleases.

Amis's Admonition.
You can't believe anyone but yourself; and don't trust yourself too completely.

Amos's Law
All my ideas are good; it's only the people who put them into practice that aren't.

Amundsen's Discovery.
Victory awaits those who have everything in order. People call this luck.

Anonymous's Contribution to the National Security Debate.
The difference between the military and the Boy Scouts of America is that the Boy Scouts are allowed to carry knives and they have adult leadership.

Anonymous's Reminder to Mind the Real Objective.
Why worry about low tire pressure when you're out of gas.

Anthony's Songs of the Desk Jockey.
(1) The federal government spends enough in one hour to wire the entire population of North Dakota—and the houses, too. (2) Discriminate as little as you can and still comply with federal regulations. (3) The principal allegiance of modern man is to his group, which differs from a gang chiefly in that gangs rumble in the streets while groups rumble in the courts and on Capitol Hill. (4) A dresser is a kind of bureau that doesn't tell you how to run your life. (5) The fascination of paper clips grows inversely with the appeal of the work at hand.

The Apotheosis Assumption.
The boss already has the right answers.

Armitage's Finding.
Anything put off this morning, will reach critical mass during lunch break.

Arnold's Square Wheel Theory.
A prevalent form of decision-making holds that if three out of four schools, firms, or whatever are using square wheels, then the fourth will follow.

Aronfy's Law of the Post Office.
The likelihood of a letter getting lost in the mail is directly proportional to its importance.

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