Your friend consistently counsels the same,
urging all dickishness struck from the game.
Your friend Wil
Your friend Wil declares
Your friend Wil declares: don’t be a dick
– MC Frontalot ‘Your Friend Wil’
Today I want to get serious with you about Leadership and Effectivenes. A tough topic, which has been elaborately described by many writers in amazing leadership books full of inspiration. I would like to touch upon a few of those to get to the core of what I want to say and then move on to something else that I think is the very simple core of the whole idea of personal leadership and in the end happy relations with all your surroundings, wether it’s work, family, social networks or just interpersonal relations.
7 Habits of a Better Leader, Better Life, but let’s start with why
I’ve picked three of my favorites for this post and mixed them up (see what I did there?). What they have in common is a set of tools to make your life better, by taking charge of your own life. Leadership is the core term that is used for most of these. The first in the title is the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. There’s a whole series of adaptations to different situations, but this is the main book and thye work that made this good man millions.
It takes 7 habits as the tools to use, which are divided over 3 categories: Independence, Interdependence and continuous improvements. The idea is, this is probably a quote from the book, that you first have to be independent to become interdependent. To be independent, you have to focus on being proactive, having your end-goal in mind and putting first things first. This is a great way to go into any conversation and shape your own role in those. Interdependence has collaboration at the forefront: Think Win-Win, First understand and then be understoot and Synergize. It’s all aimed at getting chemistry going between participants in the interaction. Habit number 7 speaks for itself. There’s a lot of things connected to these values, but it all serves the goals of gaining control by starting with yourself and then moving on. That is also the good thing about Covey’s system: it allows you to take things in your own pace with your own steps.
Better Leader, Better Life is based on the book by Stew Friedman, who supposes various circles in which you are active and focusses a lot on experimenting with your life to find improvements. Friedman supposes a four step proces in which you involve all the domains of your life:
- Brainstorm possibilities
- Choose experiments
- Measure progress
I personally find this a very difficult way to take on life, since constant challenging is very hard to maintain and to keep working on all parts of life. Balance is impossible according to Friedman, but everything interacts. There’s definitely a lot of value to his work, but like that of Covey it is highly idealistic and very hard to follow. Failure is not a problem per se, but does get hard to deal with at some point.
Why Wheaton’s Law?
At the core of all ideas there’s values as ‘thinking win-win’, ‘being proactive’ or other good behaviour that will eventually lead to an effective and problem solving attitude. We are not all robots however, we don’t go in every day being capable of all those good deeds. Some days we need a bottom line of what we should strive for to just get through that day. That bottom line is equal to the point where you atleast don’t do any damage to the relationships and projects that you are part of. Wheaton’s Law offers a very simple, clear-cut bottom line for those:
Don’t be a dick
It’s very simple, you just make sure you are not unfriendly, you make sure no one leaves your presence saying “What a dick…”. The point here is just to not offend people and let them keep their game up and positive. Now, that would be the second reason why Wheaton’s Law should be implemented on your work floor. It has everything to do with games and their likeness to our interactions. So first let’s talk nerdy for a bit in the next session. I have to add that this is a continuous discovery for myself.