10 January 2006

Many Golden Rules

From the still-intriguing Business 2.0 comes a collection of Golden Rules, offered by 45 notable leaders, mainly involved in business. (They even threw in a professional poker player.)

Arranged in alphabetical order, from Chris Albrecht (CEO of HBO) to Sergio Zyman (marketing expert), the Golden Rules are a thought-provoking set of maxims every professional should read at least once.

Two rules were selected by two people each:

-- Surround yourself with people smarter than you. Chris Albrecht and the Head of the Evil Empire (beaten by the Pirates in the 1960 World Series by Bill Mazeroski's ninth-inning home run), George Steinbrenner. (The Jenius loves rubbing ancient history in where it hurts. He also thinks this Golden Rule is da bomb.)

-- Never, ever forget you're a servant. David Neeleman, founder and CEO of JetBlue and Jim Press, president of Toyota Sales USA.

Other Rules worthy of attention, for some reason or another:

-- If you think you can't, you're right. Carol Bartz, CEO of AutoDesk. Shades of Henry Ford's "Whether you think you can or think you can't--you are right." Other Great and Pertinent Thoughts here.

-- Don't be interesting--be interested. Jim Collins, author of "Built to Last" and "Good to Great" (both highly recommended by The Jenius). As to this Golden Rule, The Jenius follows it more often than most of those who know Him would believe.

-- Learn to give back. Michael Graves, architect and designer. Those that learn this lesson are demonstrably happier and more successful than those who don't.

-- Make deals with people, not paper. Penn Jillette, magician, author and producer. If the people aren't right, it doesn't matter what or how much is on paper: it won't come together ever.

-- Business can't trump happiness. Shelly Lazarus, Chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. She says something even more profound in her mini-essay: "Finding fulfilling work should be an early and deeply pursued part of everyone's career path." She's 100% right, on both accounts.

-- Hard work opens doors. Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon. Yeah, The Jenius shreds the company sometimes, but when the man is right, he is right, as in "Work hard, have high standards, and stick to your values, because somebody's always watching."

-- Quit taking, start giving. Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records and founder of Rush Communications. And a rapper shall lead Us.

-- Business is not about ideas, it's about initiatives. Sergio Zyman's Rule should be plastered all over business classrooms and boardrooms from Alsatia to Zanzibar.

Check out these Golden Rules for a brief idea lab and ethics seminar. You'll notice a difference as soon as you do.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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