29 March 2007

Commandments Я Us, part one

I assembled these "commandments" in my last year at Friends United Meeting. Someone recently asked me for them, but I can't remember who! So here they are:

Ten Commandments of Management

I. ASK: Whose decision is it, and by what process?
(Thanks, Doug Bennett)

II. Give the benefit of the doubt.
(But never fear to ask clarifying questions. Your true friends will not make it difficult to find out what you need to know.)

III. Don't expect what you haven't requested.
(Please don't punish your colleagues for their lack of telepathy. Beware of the temptation to say "I assumed you already knew that.")

IV. Tell the truth.
(When the truth is awkward, tell it even sooner--before someone else's interpretation sets the tone.)

V. Delegate without second-guessing. Support publicly, question privately.
(A related rule: Don't "teach" by shaming or asking questions you already know the answer to. Teach by teaching.)

VI. Never hesitate to appoint someone smarter than you!
(Closely related: put the organization's well-being ahead of your need for credit or your need to shift blame!)

VII. Ask for help.
(The mission is always more important than your ego.)

VIII. When you’re criticized, harvest any useful information and then forget it.
(Being criticized is not the end of the world. If you never hear criticism, you're dangerously isolated.)

IX. When right, be stubborn; when wrong, promptly admit it.
(Others may not always know when you're right, but when you're wrong, don't be the last one to say so!)

X. Make friends with your enemies.
(Direct human contact is rarely wrong, but when it is not possible, pray for them.)

Righteous links:

West Richmond Friends Meeting in Indiana Yearly Meeting has adopted a different sort of "commandments"--a bill of rights for those in the meeting.

I mentioned John Perkins a couple of weeks ago--and then I found out he's coming to Portland, Oregon. He's scheduled to give the keynote address to the Free the Captives conference on April 14.

Blues clip of the week: Koko Taylor with the song that made her famous.

Koko Taylor - Wand Dang Doodle by oublierleracismeskyblog


Contemplative Scholar said...

Your Ten Commandments of Management are so helpful to me right now! Numbers III and VII are especially what I need to hear! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

That's a great list of commandments, friend! I know I personally fall short of it in a number of ways, so I'm going to try using it to improve my own behavior. Thank you for that!

I note that it's often hard for us to live up to such standards as these, simply because we're not omniscient, either regarding ourselves or regarding others. We don't always see, for example, when we're failing to give the benefit of the doubt, or when we're expecting what we haven't requested.

Thus I would hope that anyone who tries putting these commandments into practice, will do so with some tolerance for her or his own limitations -- and that anyone who is tempted to use these commandments as a basis for judging others, will bear in mind how hard it can be to see where one's own self is falling short.

Johan Maurer said...

I could have labeled this page "Ten principles Johan learned the hard way."