We seem to be inundated with leadership and management books and articles with attention grabbing headlines such as “Management Tips from Genghis Khan” or “The Five Things Leaders Do Every Morning” (oddly, the list does not include oral hygiene or taking a “constitutional”). Most have some worthwhile tidbits but some are downright Machiavellian with focus on persuasion and influencing others to the point of playing psychological mind games.
Without over-analyzing or engaging in the latest psycho-babble, management and leadership in work and life comes down to a few simple questions:
1. How would I want to be treated in this situation? (Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.)
2. Is this in line with my values, principles (e.g. what my parents taught me), or mission statement in life?
3. What if this (act, decision, etc.) was printed on the front page of the New York Times?
The old golden rule applies: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” The Mosaic law contains a parallel commandment: “Whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other person.” Treat others as you want to be treated (unless you are into S&M). Lead others as you want to be led. Manage others as you would want to be managed.
If something does not pass your “sniff test” and you wouldn’t be proud to see it plastered on the front page of the New York Times, then don’t do it. Deep down, you always know what is right or wrong.
Pinocchio has his pal, "Jiminy Cricket", acting as his conscience and guide. These three simple questions constantly act as my "Jiminy Cricket".
What questions provides the answers in your life?
Frank Lio is a Product Manager, Strategist, and Change Agent in the Hi-Tech industry. His growing track record of successes include creating 3 winning software products, leading nationwide seminars, and turning around a failing business unit. He is currently serving a dual role as Product Manager and Business Team Support Manager at Instron ITW.
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