“Some rules are simply old habits that people are afraid to change.”

–  Therese Anne Fowler (b. 1967), contemporary American author

I’ve never been a big fan of rules.

There are good ones, like “never make the first or last out of an inning at third base…” but I digress.

In business, I had four rules forever, until a good friend convinced me to add Rule #5 in about 2008.

  1. Be reliable.
  2. Be positive.
  3. Treat the company’s resources as if they are your own.
  4. Be honest.  Completely, transparently honest.
  5. Let’s don’t do stupid stuff.

Turns out some people are offended by rule #5 — because we’ve become so hypersensitive to words that it’s easy to believe that my intention is to label people, not actions.  That is not my intention.

Smart people sometimes do stupid stuff.  The key is to know when the stuff we’re doing that might be dopey is because of a “rule” or simply a habit.

Habits are, ultimately decisions.  And doing the things we have to do to be successful — ultimately, that comes down to deciding, too.

As sales pros, the rule might be “make 20 calls per day.”  The better practice might be “have 8 meaningful conversations today.”  As sales leaders, the rule might be “make quota every month or go on a plan.”  The better practice might be to understand, well in advance, how your team is doing — toward their goals, toward their progression as a pro, toward the life they seek — and help them synch up daily activity to align.

A couple of rules just for today, for sales pros, as we begin a week, a quarter a sprint to the finish of a weird year.

Write down the two or three — not more, not less — things that are most important today.  Do them first.  Do them before doing anything else.



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