(One-Trick Pony is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
This annoying insult (like most insults you hear from bosses) is uttered by the overly insecure managers in your life. They feel threatened by a competitor, a peer, or even a junior employee.
They’re threatened because this other person is really good – strike that – really, really great at something. So great, in fact, others marvel out loud at the greatness.
To elevate themselves above this superstar, they insist he or she is just a one-trick pony. Somehow, this satisfies their insecurities and allows them to get on with their little lives.
Conversely, when we hear one-trick pony, we usually think, “Wait, what if it’s a pretty freaking cool trick? We mean, a pony that can do a trick – even just one – is a good thing, right? If that trick is making us a pizza or getting us a beer, we’d be more than satisfied with this pony having just one trick.”
Replacement phrases: No replacement phrase needed. In fact, stop insulting those better than you; try celebrating, congratulating, and praising them. You’ll earn more respect.
See also: Good with a Hammer; Jack of All Trades, Master of None
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon