MANAGEMENT is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; LEADERSHIP determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall - Stephen Covey

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Never Assume!

I always say "Assumption is the mother of all f**kups"...Well, maybe thats a crude (and an uncensored!) way to hit the nail but as long as you hit the nail right on its head...its fine!. I have come across many occassions where people tend to assume things and therefore end up doing things that aren't expected out of them. To them, here is what I would like to say "Dont assume things: when you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME", which is bad enough. Therefore, the final take-away is "Never assume, Seldom deny, Always distinguish!"


Blogger The Light-House. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:57 PM

Blogger The Light-House. said...

Hi Sriram great post i also believe assume =ass=u=me and impossible is spelt as i-m-possible.Great going

7:00 PM

Blogger Sriram said...


Thanx a ton for ur comments. I saw ur blog too. Nice work. Happy bloggin!

7:09 PM

Blogger servimetrica said...

Here's a litany we used to say at my previous job when someone said "I assume...", or any other variant:

"I assume
I imagine
I believe
I think..."

Then we'd moist the tip of our index finger and raise it above our heads, as trying to feel which way the wind was blowing...

12:55 AM

Blogger vkn said...

I wonder why all cashflows have a note stating assumptions, pessimistic and optimistic ones. :-) I am preparing a cashflow and was making so many assumptions. huh! how to avoid these things when preparing a cashflow which is unpredictable, need to learn a lot, i guess Sriram.

6:07 AM

Blogger vkn said...

Help! :-) I missed adding this.

6:07 AM

Blogger Sriram said...


Financial Statements (Income Stt, Balance Sheet, Cash Flows) are prepared based on certain principles, standards & conventions inorder to comply with the law and are subject to external audit. That said, there assumptions made while preparing management accounts, business plan projections, cash flow projections, budgets etc wherein there are quite a number of variables for which details / facts may be unknown during the time of preparation. Therefore, we tend to assume (best-case & worst-case scenarios) and go ahead with the projections. In practice, financial planning models are much more complex as they must accommodate multiple time periods (months, quarters and years) and handle hundreds of variables relating to sales, costs etc. A comprehensive model can contain many thousands of formulae with functions ranging from simple addition to complex conditional statements (e.g. if projected cashflow is positive, reduce the overdraft before adding any residual balance to the cash account) which would involve many assumptions by way of notes etc. When preparing financial projections, be conscious of a few pitfalls and dangers that could occur as the result of a lack of foresight or insight, or because of excessive optimism.

9:59 AM

Blogger Trevor Gay said...

Hi Sriram

Excellent topic - I recently said a similar thing on my Simplicity Blog.

'Check out comprehension of the listener' was how my old English teacher used to put it. He was right.

I have often made mistakes by assuming. I like to think I am getting better as I get older but I think most people make many incorrect assumptions in life.

Here is what I wrote on my Blog back in November:


This was brought into my mind at Church last Sunday when the Minister was asking us not to be judgmental about people who are less fortunate than us – for example homeless people and those sleeping rough. In fact the Minister used a wonderful expression;

‘Whether a man sleeps on a pavement or in a palace they are both sons of God and equal in his eyes.’

Assumptions and judgments were best brought home to me many years ago when a friend told me this true story.

A man in his early thirties was on a train journey with two young children of about 5 and 6 years of age who were running around. They were out of control; they were loud; and generally making a nuisance of themselves, much to the annoyance of the other passengers. There was a tense atmosphere but no one said anything until one man got so angry that he felt he just had to say something to the man who seemd to be oblivious to what was going on and 'miles away' mentally. He told the man he was not a responsible parent; he told him that he should control the children; they were very annoying and making the journey a misery for everyone. It was very inconsiderate not to control them.

The man looked at the person and apologised with tears in his eyes saying "Yes you are quite right I am so sorry – it is just that we are traveling back home from the funeral of my wife – their mother, and I guess they are finding it all very difficult at the moment.”

Ouch!!! - Like all of us - the person who complained wished a hole would appear so that he could just fall in!

Never assume – it will make an ASS out of U and ME

11:12 PM

Blogger Sriram said...


Yeppers....I did read that post on ur blog & its awesome!

12:20 PM


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