Christianity Has Too Many Rules Already, Don’t Give Me More!
In words designed to demotivate every writer, temper every philosopher and provide a reality check for every professor, the Teacher in Ecclesiastes noted: Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body!
That aside, as part of creating the ethos for his corporate rule at Raytheon, Bill Swanson noted thirty-three sound-byte rules that he published as Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management. He was liberal in giving away copies and for a time you could go to his company web-site and download copies. Since he had almost 80,000 employees, it was a good idea.
The whole project can unglued when Swanson admitted that he had plagiarized the rules from a variety of sources. After that, you can no longer download copies from his site but the internet is a wonderful world, and you can still find copies in a variety of places (although the wording is gradually changing from Swanson’s version.) Apparently the major sources he used were: Dave Barry, W.J. King (an old-timer), and most surprisingly, Donald Rumsfeld (never saw that one coming but he has a lot of pithy sayings attributed to him!)
Swanson’s collection is interesting, giving useful insights on things that make working together easier and more effective. We could consider them to be a modern collection of proverbs with interesting insights. Take a look at the list and see if many of them could help us work together better. It’s okay, you won’t get sucked into “worldly wisdom” but you will be able to link many of them to ideas found in the Bible.
Which ones grab your attention?
Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management
- Learn to say, “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be often.
- It is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it.
- If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
- Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what’s there, but few can see what isn’t there.
- Presentation rule: When something appears in a Powerpoint presentation,
assume the world knows about it, and deal with it accordingly.
- Work for a boss with whom you are comfortable telling it like it is. Remember that you can’t pick your relatives, but you can pick your boss.
- Constantly review developments to make sure that the actual benefits are what they are supposed to be. Avoid Newton’s Law.
- However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.
- Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties,
discouragement, or indifference. Don’t be known as a good starter but a poor finisher.
- In completing a project, don’t wait for others; go after them, and make sure it gets done.
- Confirm your instructions and the commitments of others in writing. Don’t assume it will get done!
- Don’t be timid; speak up. Express yourself, and promote your ideas.
- Practice shows that those who speak the most knowingly and confidently often end up with the assignment to get it done.
- Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports.
- Be extremely careful to be accurate in your statements.
- Don’t overlook the fact that you are working for a boss. Keep him or her informed. Avoid surprises! Whatever the boss wants, within the bounds of integrity, takes top priority.
- Promises, schedules, and estimates are important instruments in a well-ordered business. You must make promises. Don’t make excuses.
- Never direct a complaint to the top. A serious offense is to “cc” a person’s boss on a complaint before the person has had a chance to respond to it.
- When dealing with outsiders, remember that you represent the company. Be careful of your commitments.
- Cultivate the habit of “boiling matters down” to the simplest terms. An elevator speech is the best way.
- Don’t get excited in engineering emergencies. Keep your feet on the ground.
- Cultivate the habit of making quick, clean-cut decisions.
- When making decisions, the pros are much easier to deal with than the cons. Your boss needs to see both.
- Don’t ever lose your sense of humor.
- Have fun at what you do. It will reflect in your work. No one likes a grump.
- Treat the name of your company as if it were your own.
- Beg for the bad news.
- You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you (he’s being generous!) but 100% of what you feel.
- You can’t polish a sneaker.
- When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn-out “short them to the ground.”
- When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will quickly change.
- A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person. This rule never fails, there are no exceptions.
- Never be afraid to try something new. Remember it was an amateur who built the ark (which survived a flood) while a team of professionals built the Titanic (we know what happened to it!)
P.S. The qualities of leadership boil down to confidence, dedication, integrity and love.
Posted on April 25, 2012, in Leadership, Relationships and tagged corporate survival skills, healthy relationships, management skills, modern proverbs, productivity, Raytheon, Swanson. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.