Rules for Bosses

Several years ago, a list of "12 Rules for Graduates", variously attributed to Paul Harvey, Bill Gates, and Kurt Vonnegut, among others, began making the rounds. Naturally -- since it was terribly one-sided -- we considered the yin of this yang and came up with:

12 Rules for Bosses

1. No one cares what working conditions were like when you were our age. That was then, this is now. Deal with the present.

2. Money doesn't make you anything but wealthy. A rich idiot is still an idiot.

3. You can't always have your own way. And your temper tantrums don't impress us. You're supposed to be a grown-up; act like it.

4. You don't own me, you only rent me. I do have a life outside of the company.

5. Just because you want to work yourself into an early grave, doesn't mean that I have to. No one on their deathbed ever said "Gee, I wish I had spent more time at the office."

6. Just as you expect a fair day's work for a day's wage, I have a right to expect a fair day's wage for a day's work. After all, you only get what you pay for.

7. Learn the difference between leadership and management. You can manage resources, but you have to lead people.

8. Praise in public, punish in private. One of the surest ways to make me your enemy is by bad-mouthing me in front of others.

9. There's nothing that goes around that doesn't come around again. Stand up for me, and I'll stand up for you. Mistreat me, and....

10. Don't play favorites based on personalities or family ties. You can't afford anything less than a meritocracy.

11. Too often, procedures are the chains with which the incapable and the unwilling enslave the capable and the willing. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

12. Lighten up. Don't take yourself so seriously that no one else takes you seriously. Where is it written that work can't be enjoyable?


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