Unwritten Rules of Management (Leadership)-“It is easier to get into something than to get out of it”

Recall from last time, years ago, a client passed along a copy of former Raytheon & Chairman William H. Swanson's "Unwritten Rules of Management" (with a play on words, and with all due respect to the author, could also read "Unwritten Rules of Leadership.")

I've kept a copy of "Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management" (Google it!) in my top desk drawer over the years and refer to it occasionally as the underlying principle's are enduring.

In the foreward, the author (Swanson) refers to this compendium as "a product of experiences over the better part of a lifetime, of people I have learned from, and things I have heard or read. To me, this is an anthology of common sense."

Over the next several blogs, and if you'll indulge me, I'd like to dissect each of these "Unwritten Rules" strictly from my POV. As I said, for me, these virtues are enduring. More importantly, how about you? What are your beliefs around these Unwritten Rules?

Unwritten rule #2 "It is easier to get into something than to get out of it." 

For me, the essence of this particular Unwritten Rule distilled down:

You shouldn't be timid about committing. For example, if you're a joiner JOIN! If you're not a joiner, DON'T JOIN. Simple. Following the example, if you do decide to join, commit only when you have a clear sense of your goals and your means.

Once committed, it is more complicated to undo an action already underway than to change a decision before it is acted upon.

Further, as Swanson illuminates in an example, in manufacturing, early in the design process, involve all elements of your team for "repetitive producibility." This way you have a model that scales more efficiently assuming success. Design the quality in from the outset. Involve your suppliers early on. In all probability, you'll get a better result over the long haul. If you are in professional services, the same principle's can easily be applied. 

Thus, it is one heckuva of a lot easier to get into something than to get out of it. Can you think of a time recently when you could have benefited from better inclusion (and buy-in) on the front-end of a project or initiative? Remember, to go fast go alone. To go further, go together. 

jsexton

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