12 Rules for Success

Several years ago I generated a list of rules for success. It is important to write down a set of rules for yourself, just as it is to document your values. It gives you something to hang on to when there is too much confusion. Another benefit of a list like this is that it helps other people know how you operate much quicker. I would review this list and my passion for each item whenever inheriting a new group.

• The most important word that determines your success is "attitude" - how you react to what happens in your life. The magic learning here is that you control your attitude, therefore, you can control your success.

• Engagement of people is the only way to business success.

• Credibility allows freedom to manage in an "appropriate" way (which means if you are not credible, you will be micro-managed).

• Build a "real" environment - maximize trust - This requires honesty and transparency.

• Create winners - help people realize their dreams of success (which means, grow other leaders).

• Recognize and reward results at all levels (reinforcement governs performance).

• Operate ahead of the power curve (which means, be organized and get things done well ahead of the deadline).

• Don't get mired down in bureaucratic mumbo jumbo, negotiate the best position possible, out flank the Sahara. However, feed the animal when necessary (which means pick your political battles carefully).

• Enjoy the ride - when it is no longer fun - leave.

• Admit when you are wrong and do it with great delight. Beg people to let you know when you sap them and thank them for it (which means Reinforce Candor).

• Provide "real" reinforcement that is perceived as reinforcing by the receiver. Build an environment of reinforcement.

• Keep trying and never give up. You will succeed.

There are many other things that could be mentioned, but if you can master the things above, most other things become subcategories of them. For example, another bullet might be "Treat people as adults and always demonstrate respect." That is really a sub item of the second bullet. Or another bullet might be "Always walk your talk." That is one thing (among many) you need to do for bullet four to happen. I believe every leader should have a documented set of beliefs such as the one above. I am not advocating that you adopt my list. Think about it and develop your own list. Don't worry about being complete, just start an electronic file and add to it over the years as you grow and encounter new ideas. You will be amazed how this simple task enables you to operate with congruence and grow in your leadership skill.


Robert Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow Incorporated, an organization dedicated to development of leaders. He has spoken on leadership topics and the development of trust in numerous venues across the country. He is author of three leadership books: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for ProfessionalsUnderstanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  His ability to communicate pragmatic approach...

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