5 rules for success

The following tactical rules for business are derived from other peoples posts and (some of them) are slightly paraphrased by me. These rules will help in many situations at work – and I teach them. I do not want to get any credit for writing these rules down – I simply need a place to link to – whenever I am asked for advise ;o)

  1. Do not assume anything!
  2. If in doubt – ask!
  3. Think for yourself!
  4. Prepare for failure! (Have a plan B!)
  5. Act!

Rule 1: Do not assume anything!

Ever heard that “ I thought that …“  when things went terribly wrong?  Try not to act on unsafe ground. Either you know something or you don’t.  If you do things without a good reason you increase your chances of failure. Do what you have to do – if you know what to do. If you don’t know -> apply rule number 2 and 3.

Rule 2: If in doubt – ask!

The 2nd rule addresses the fact that people often  hesitate to ask -when they better should ask. Those people must rely heavily on assumptions and are thus much more likely to fail.

Rule 3: Think for yourself!

Sometimes people do not apply the fundamental principles of logic. They trust too much in things that others say – and do not double check for themselves. If you apply rule number 2 – always think twice and double check!

Rule 4: Prepare for failure! (Have a plan B!)

Even if we stick to rule number 1 – 3 and consider ourselves to be quiet intelligent beings – The truth is we are not as brilliant as we would like to be and things go wrong – sometimes they go terribly wrong. Be prepared to fail, even if you believe you are the most brilliant thinker and strategist on earth. Prepare a plan B so you can act fast in case of failure.

Rule 5: Act!

Do not wait too long and think too long. If you do not act you increase the chances that something goes wrong dramatically. Some people are so afraid to make mistakes that they do not act at all. But be aware that:

  • Not acting when action is necessary is considered to be a major failure.
  • If you make a mistake you will have a chance to learn, recover and repair. And after a „learn, recover and repair“ things will be better than if you did not act at all.
That’s it. Please post your comments so I can rework the rules or add new ones.