The Limitations of Rules
Rules only get you so far. If you don't have people of character in your organization, no amount of rules, guidelines or policies will help you get to where you want to go.
As I was driving to work one day, I saw the scenario above and snapped a quick shot on my cell phone. I was stopped at a light and not moving so don't worry about my safety. The man standing on the sidewalk is puffing away on a cigarette and practically has to step over the “no smoking permitted” sign to do it. I realize that smoking is a serious addiction but this scene is pretty funny.
I learned two things about rule making from watching this man smoke in front of the no smoking sign.
1: Don't make a rule you can't enforce. It only shows our ineffectiveness as leaders if we make rules we aren't able, or aren't willing, to enforce. If the rule you are about to make isn't important enough to enforce, then why make it? People like to test boundaries. It's part of who we are. We like to test limits and do what we're told shouldn't be possible. Our desire to push limits has led to airplanes and space flight! If it's not important enough to enforce, don't make a rule about it.
2: Hire people of character. In Good to Great, Jim Collins teaches us to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and then and only then, should you figure out where the bus is going. If you spend the time on the front end, picking the right people to join your team, you won't have to spend time later fixing problems. Hire good people and then get out of their way!
The better the character of the people on your team, the fewer number of rules you should have. Relationships built on trust don't need to be fenced in by rules and guidelines.
Question: When choosing people for your team or hiring for your organization, how closely do you look at their character? Please leave a comment below by clicking here!