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Establish a set of simple rules

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

In everyday conversation, we may chafe at those who make assertions without proof. Too many dogmatic declarations can prove a turnoff.

Yet top leaders thrive on dogmatism. They state principles that they deem true, period. In their world, there’s no wiggle room to compromise on those principles.

Verne Harnish, an author who coaches entrepreneurs, advises, “You need a few simple rules, repeat them over and over,  and act consistently."

To strengthen your leadership, create laws or rules that govern how your organization operates. Examples can include the need to act with integrity or solve customers’ problems.

√ Make your rules stick by shrinking them down. Prune away fluff so that every word counts. You want to pinpoint in clear, easy-to-remember language what you expect employees to do and think.

√  Don’t go overboard. Limit your list to five or six one-sentence guiding principles. Catchy phrases or acronyms are even better. Leave no room for ambiguity.

√ Confirm that each rule is incontrovertibly true. Avoid principles that apply in some cases but not in others.

As a test, add the phrase “no matter what!” after each core value you’ve drafted. Then ask yourself, “Does the rule still apply?” The best rules always apply under all circumstances.

— Adapted from “The Powerful Trait Shared By Gates, Jobs, Buffett, Zuckerberg…,” Kevin Daum,

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