Graham🐝 Edwards

3 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Fuck the 12 rules for work — consider these golden rules instead.

A little while ago I was inspired to write a blog entitled "12 rules for work — an antidote for chaos". I will admit in hindsight it was a little optimistic to think something like this could be "tackled" in 500 words or less... or maybe it was just arrogance (I do tend to confuse the two sometimes). For my efforts I received some great feedback, as well as a number of additional rules for consideration — including mine, I now had 27.

Ever the optimist (I think), I couldn't help but realize that 27 rules were just too unwieldy and there were probably a handful of "Golden Rules for Work" in the mix — and as the original title suggested, these rules would be an antidote for chaos.  In a list of 27 there must be gold... at least it seemed a reasonable assumption.

  • Be passionate about your work, or at least find an element of it that excites you.
  • Be prepared to do your best work. Be on time and get organized.
  • Admit mistakes early
  • Dress the part. Never show up looking like a slob.
  • Be open to ideas and input from others.
  • You will get nothing done without objectives and expectations.
  • It is better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.
  • Measure as much as you can.
  • Raise the bar once you think you know what you are doing.
  • People don't pay for easy.
  • Make decisions and move forward.
  • Measure twice; cut once.
  • Establish deadlines and adhere to them.
  • Establish objectives and meet them.
  • Be flexible enough to change your objectives or path if it no longer seems relevant or appropriate.
  • Share the load by offering help to others and by accepting help from others.
  • Admit your mistakes and dare to learn from them.
  • Be light-hearted. Nobody wants to work with miserable people..
  • Be brave and do the right thing, even when nobody else is.
  • Never forget work is much bigger than what you do.
  • Although you are good at what you do, remember that doesn't mean you are good at everything.
  • The person that you forgot about will throw a wrench into what you want to accomplish.
  • When someone asks if there are any questions... ask one.
  • Work is an intellectual pursuit, not an emotional one.
  • You know your business when you know your numbers.
  • Nothing gets done without good people.
  • Work / Life balance.

Using a secret process of consolidation, stack ranking, statistical validation and even a little regression modelling I was able to identify what I am now calling the "5 Golden Rules for Work™ " (Please note it's trademarked and backed by the weight of the internet). I've tried to make them easy to remember (even a little pithy) and are in no particular order except for the first one; the first one came to me from an old work colleague, and I'll admit feeling a little sheepish because I forgot to include it on my original list — damn the Capricorn in me because it's the most important one.

Golden Work Rule #1: Be Balanced — 

This specifically refers to the concept of Work/Life balance, and as I was reminded, "not having it could lead to personal conflicts, attitude decay, distraction and then the foundation crumbles"*. All that hard work will be for nothing.

Golden Work Rule #2: Measure Twice; Cut Once — 

This refers to really understanding the situation you are dealing with, that you use data to make decisions, know your numbers, and never make your decisions based on "I think", but rather "I know".

Golden Work Rule #3Make decisions and move forward

It is all about progressive activity. Set things in motion, learn from your mistakes, course correct, and continue towards your goal.

Golden Work Rule #4: Manage to Objectives and Expectations — 

Having objectives and expectations will ensure your goals move forward, and please make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. This gives your efforts something to anchor to, and makes the measurement of progress easier.

Golden Work Rule #5 Listen to Others — 

This rule is about people... about how their insights and ideas will make the outcome of whatever you are working on better. Surround yourself with good people, engage them, and listen to what they have to say.

There you have it — definitely better than my original 12 rules. Thanks to RC, PC, JG and KW for helping me with my efforts; I'm better for your help.

Refer back to Golden Rule #5


* to quote PC.

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Javier 🐝 CR

3 years ago #9


Javier 🐝 CR

3 years ago #8

Scammer removed ! thank you Claire L Cardwell!

Claire L Cardwell

3 years ago #7

cc Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee

Graham🐝 Edwards

3 years ago #6

Thanks for the comments and insight Jerry Fletcher. With regard to number 2, I was thinking that data needs to drive decisions and not "gut feel"... trying to convey data driven action. Your point is very well taken and the reminder appreciated!

Graham🐝 Edwards

3 years ago #5

Thanks for the comment and thoughts Harvey Lloyd... I have never listened to Jorden Peterson but will check him out. Regarding the narrative, I think all the rules boiled into the five based on experience with what has generally worked for me (and not worked) ... for example the work/life balance has been learned the hard way... there was a time I could walk down stairs with out holding onto the railing because I was so out of balance. I let work physically break me a bit. Plus I'm a capricorn and that always skews the whole work discussion for me... lol — we are hardworking and loyal after all. : )

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #4

Graham, Pithy but memorable. My only disagreement is with your description of number 2. In leadership positions it is often necessary to go with "I think" rather than with "I know." That may be based on intuition which is sometimes defined as "knowing reached from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning." Therein lies the difference between managers and leaders.

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #3

Many of your rules start at many assumptions. I agree with them. I would assume you are piggybacking on Jordan Peterson's youtube videos. He really has tapped into a fundamental misconception promulgated by the extremes of society. His basic premise, as i understand it, is that we first must find our own individual meaning and expectations through truthful sharing and learning. He demonstrates history that explored these questions that we have written off because science appears to be answer for everything now. This excludes the human factors that science has set in the corner because its not measurable. Your rules need to step off of a confident, truthful, courageous platform in order to see them actaully work. One of the self awareness journeys that Dr. Peterson asks us to perform is a in depth look at what fundamentals that drive our persona within the success arena. Must folks cant ask the question without discussing some existencial property. Still, i like your rules. I would be interested in what in your narrative made you think these were/are important to the success model.

Graham🐝 Edwards

3 years ago #2

You are the best Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier...

Renée 🐝 Cormier

3 years ago #1

Well done! Glad I offered something of value to the mix. 🤓

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