Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of , by Raytheon’s CEO, offers these gems, with elaborations here by Swanson himself:
- You can’t polish a sneaker. “When I was growing up,” says Swanson, “we used white Kiwi polish to make our sneakers look new. But no matter how hard we tried, an ugly sneaker remained an ugly sneaker.”
- Learn to say “I don’t know.” “If used when appropriate,” says Swanson, “it will be used often. Confident people … don’t try to BS you.”
- You remember a third of what you read, half of what people tell you, but 100 percent of what you feel.
A leader needs to communicate in a way that makes people feel what they need to do.
- Look for what’s missing. Many know how to improve what’s there; few can see what isn’t there.
- Treat your organization’s name as if it were your own.
- View decisions as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will change quickly.
- If you’re never criticized, you may not be doing much.
- A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter—or to others—is not a nice person.
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