Bombeck: Strategy

Quote Quiz

America has been blessed over the years with people that were able to perfect the art of wit and wisdom in a manner easily understood by both contemporaries and generations into the future. Erma Bombeck (1927 - 1996) was one of these people. She wrote a newspaper column with a down-home style addressing the challenges faced by housewives and women in the workplace. Her wisdom was timeless as expressed by her advice for selecting a doctor.

“Never go to a doctor,” she said, “________” (select the end of this quote from the choices below).

1. Younger than you

2. Whose office plants have died

3. Without a diploma on the wall

4. Whose office is dusty

Any of these could be good advice but only one shows the wit and wisdom of Bombeck. Scroll down to see which one she really said.

Not only was Erma Bombeck one of America’s great humorists she had a great business sense. She wrote books and newspaper columns requiring her to juggle the daily rigors of writing with keeping her network of newspapers intact. When selecting the subjects and theme of a book or recruiting a new newspaper she had to use a winning strategy. Of course, she knew how to relate her business strategy in a colorful, memorable way.

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died,” she said.

In other words, she challenges us to look at the clues of a business deal or partner pay attention to little clues telling you the seriousness and quality of the partner. This includes those with whom we form relationships of any kind – from business suppliers to partners to co-branding to advisors.

It worked for her. At the height of her career her column appeared in 900 papers and was read by 30 million people twice each week. She also was a leading contributor of commentary and high-profile interviews for the television program “Good Morning America”.