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The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #96 is "Your Ego is Writing Checks Your Body Can’t Cash..."

New series at the Capitalist: The Top 100 Movie Quotes of all time for HR Pros.  In no special order, I break down the 100 movie quotes that resonate most for me as a career HR pro.  Some will be funny, some will be serious... Some will tug at your heart like when the Fox voice-over guy said, "Tonight - a very special episode of 90210"... You get the vibe... I'll do it countdown-style like they're ranked, but let's face it - they're ALL special...

Did you really think that we were going to make it through this series without a quote from Top Gun?   Tom-cruise-top-gun

If so, you would be wrong...

"Your ego is writing checks your body can't cash".  Those were the immortal words of Captain Tom “Stinger” Jordan in Top Gun.  Of course, he was talking to Maverick, played by Tom Cruise.  Odds are when you use this phrase in the workplace, you're not talking to Maverick.  You're talking to someone with considerably less ability to back up the checks being written with performance.

Let's count the ways you've used this phrase in your HR practice:

-to the employee who was daring a manager to take action on some outlandish behavior, just because they didn't really like the manager in question.  No other reason...

-to the C-level leader who is making a rash termination decision because... well, because they thought they could.... and they're a C.  I mean, c'mon...

-to the manager who is committing his team to the worst budget numbers since imprisoned former HealthSouth leader Richard Scrushy said, "Yeah, we'll grow another 20% this year...

-to the peer who had a wild time in Haiti on his last vacation, confidently exclaiming, "I mean, really - when am I going to be in Haiti again?"

Captain Jordan in Top Gun, like you, knew that it was all fool's gold.  Those that do outlandish things usually learn in time that they can't make irresponsible decisions without facing the music.

Which brings me to the big question.  How did it all work out so well for Maverick?  

Oh yeah, I forgot.  He had Iceman.  See the video below for details...

What did you think I was going to say?  Goose?


Dwane Lay

"I mean, really - when am I going to be in Haiti again?"

Nice stealth quote. Better than the one at the top of the page, I think.

"I don't know the guy, but I've got two kidneys and he needs one, so I figured..."


Nice One ~ I think we have the same taste in movies! I too speak fluent movie quotes!

Pat Wood

Great quote and advice... unfortunately most people aren't as lucky as Maverick and end up learning the hard way, by crashing & burning.

Warner C

"I immediately regret this decision." - Anchor Man Ron Burgundy after jumping into a lion pit at the San Diego Zoo.

Candid Kid

Odd how one can misrember some things and perfectly remember others... I can remember the exact words of the quote, but until watching it again, I thought it was Iceman who said it...

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