If you are engaged in teaching, whether formally in classes or informally as you facilitate projects, you probably have a few favorite sayings that you like to use toremind people of important points.

I take my blog title today from the ancient teacher Aesop, who liked to close his fables (usually stories with animal characters) with a saying or teaching. Most of us have heard, at one time or another, fables such as “The Tortoise and the Hare.” In this story, the speedy rabbit brags that he can win a race with a turtle. After he reaches a point far ahead of the tortoise, helays down for a nap while planning to wake up just in time to win. The tortoise plods on and crosses the finish line just as the hare wakes up -too late. Aesop’s moral was “Slow and steady wins the race” but which of us would not hear, “Go slow to go fast!” ???

I’m going to list a few phrases that I use frequently – sorry that I don’t have attributions, some of these are “time-honored” – and I’d be very interested to hear your own favorites!

“Proper planning prevents poor performance!”

“People treasure what their bosses measure.” (Or, sometimes, “People measure what they treasure.”

“In facilitating, you should be the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage.”

“Don’t jump to solutions!”

“The customer feels the variation – not the average.”

“If you can’t master 5S, forget all the rest” (Taiichi Ohno)

“Eight times, eight ways!” (for how to communicate effectively)

What other sayings or phrases do you find yourself using when you talk about process improvement? Please add to the list with your own favorites!

About the Author