April 6, 2013

Must We Follow all the Rules?

If you know the story of Lord of the Flies, you remember how the kids are deserted on the island without parents or rules. At first, it’s nirvana. They can do whatever they want. But soon enough, anarchy ensues. Smaller sanctions are formed. Leadership is sought. The weaker kids are oppressed. The stronger ones become bullies. The good turns to bad in the blink of an eye.

We like rules, we need rules, and we operate more efficiently with rules. But can rules hamper us more than help us? I've worked with leaders on governance models and strategic plans. It makes them comfortable that direction and focus are clear.

But does it account for the human work?

I recently hosted a workshop on the elements of great leaders and teams. Part of our discussion was on aligning values. Do you know your values? Do you know what you stand for and what is non-negotiable? Do you know what your team and company stands for and how it is aligned with your values? Are strengths and employee’s abilities to inject opinions and ideas celebrated?

Barry Schwartz, a philosopher, writer, speaker, consultant, and professor, opines the importance of operating outside the constraints of rules while celebrating our wisdom.

Kneale Mann | Leadership and Culture Strategist, Writer, Speaker, Executive Coach engaging leaders to build successful talent and profitable business.

TED | Barry Schwartz
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