Rules: Break or Keep?

August 5, 2015 by

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and falling over.” Richard Branson

Rules are made to be kept – or broken. The more information you have, the better you can know which to follow and which to break.

  1. Know your business. Know it some more. Every day be reading and learning something about your industry and organization. Read your news releases. Check industry headlines. Follow key social media accounts.

  2. Grow your business. Grow it some more. Know what ‘growth’ means to your leadership. Market share? New products? Make sure you can correlate your work to business growth. Don’t let ‘the way it has always been done’ get in your way (this is usually where rule-breaking applies).

  3. Know technology. Know it some more. The change is constant and accelerating, ranging from coding languages to cloud. You need to be in perpetual learning mode, and leaders need to support professional development with their actions – and budgets.

  4.  Be perpetually curious. Make it a habit to interact with one new person in your organization, industry, or customer base every week. Ask questions and listen intently to the answers. Almost everyone is open to a cup of coffee or a brief phone conversation. And remember, you are not always right; so it is important to be open.

  5. Be a team player, but don’t be a lemming or ‘yes person.’ If you are doing 1-4, you increase your knowledge and ability to influence the right actions and decisions.

Last but not least is the golden rule of treating others like you want to be treated. Add a wee grain of salt to this; because us human beings are all different, and how we like (or will tolerate) being treated is not ‘one size fits all,’ or even most. Be attuned to the amazing diversity of teams and organizations and don’t assume what works for you will work for everyone.



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