(Rising Tide Lifts All Boats 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.)
Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
This annoying analogy most often refers to the market forces affecting your industry. If the market is growing, everyone grows… even those companies with poor execution.
The inference is the underperformers in the industry might be growing their sales, but they’re losing market share.
This phrase, like so many in this book, is mostly annoying in its overuse. However, like a few others, this one is made extra-annoying because it’s unnecessary filler; worthless; wasted breath.
Once a manager latches onto this one, she’ll never let it go. Suddenly, every situation is relatable to tides and their impact on boats.
Ugh; save us.
Additionally, and this is maddening, rising tide lifts all boats is sometimes used passive-aggressively by pompous managers to take a shot at someone or some team in their own organization.
The situation goes roughly like this: Your division delivered record results last month. However, instead of allowing you and your coworkers to bask in a little glory, some blockhead manager of another division (one that didn’t fare as well) will dampen the festivities by reminding everyone that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Piss off, sore loser.
Replacement phrases: No replacement necessary; this one has never added anything to any conversation.
See also: Raise the Bar
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon