Putting Lipstick on a Pig Is Not Enough to Make It Pretty

When putting lipstick on a pig to show the entire world how pretty it is, you are actually trying to mislead, by increasing superficially its value and beauty. The original saying is hundreds of years old and claims that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear; the lipstick thing is more like a modern adaptation.

lipstick on a pig

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The main message you send is that you seem to believe you can manipulate the results so they look positive, even though the reality is different.

The companies sometimes use this tactic in order to highlight the good, while the general outlook is bad. Nonetheless, by doing this they are really damaging their own credibility.

In order to get the big picture or the details of the individual, team, department or company’s performance, you need to measure.

You can be tricked into thinking it sounds better „a negative increase” than a decrease, but it’s the same thing. There is no point in hiding behind fancy concepts that only emphasise what you’re trying to hide.

Back to our piglet: as it doesn’t have sudorific glands, it can’t cool off through sweat. When a piggie spends time chilling in the mud, putting lipstick on it won’t wash away the dirt.

The same principle applies when talking about performance – there is no point in hiding poor performance, sooner or later it will come out. If you also tampered a little with the results, your trustworthyness or even your career will be seriously damaged.

The word goes that if you wish to look busy, you need to walk around the company at a fast pace, carrying some papers. Fortunately, that isn’t the case anymore as we have a lot of monitoring and control tools you can use to check on your employees.

On the other side, an employee can hang around the office for eight or more hours and not achieve much, but this cannot last long.

No matter how much you try to dodge „the system”, sooner or later something will give you away. Pretending to be someone/something you aren’t it’s not a long term strategy, no matter where you work.

Good luck succeeding!

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