Skin in the Game

skin in the game annoying business phrase cartoon

(Skin in the Game 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.)

Skin in the Game

In some ways, skin in the game is sometimes a little gross. Strike that; it’s always a lot gross.

We, like many of you, either picture the annoying manager who blurted out this disturbing phrase lying naked, spread eagle, skin exposed on the conference room table.


Or, we picture the speaker’s epidermis sloughing off and creating small piles of skin everywhere.

Double yuck.

Your annoying manager loves to talk about having skin in the game. His or her intention is to explain someone has something to lose. That person or department is invested in the results.

Additionally, when mentioning they’re own skin in the game, the phrase often becomes an unnecessarily pompous way to demonstrate to you that they believe they’re the only ones who really care about some outcome. It’s often braggadocio disguised as concern with a little bit of “why don’t the rest of you start pulling your weight” thrown in.

It’s passive-aggressive and it makes our ears bleed.

Worse, it’s often uttered by those who aren’t truly invested in a company or project. Their money is not on the line; their jobs are not in jeopardy. They’re just weak managers trying to sound strong.

If this describes you, instead of telling us you have skin in the game, why don’t you try taking some personal responsibility and help the rest of the organization succeed?

Novel concept for annoying managers, isn’t it?

Replacement phrases: Equity; Something to lose; Invested

See also: Dog in this Fight; Ownership

The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon

From TheManager