178 brilliant manager
the golden rule comes into its own if you have strong principles
on which to base your actions.
Principles and integrity
Management is so much easier if you want to use your power
to make things happen. It is also much easier if you have a clear
view of right from wrong. If you have a strong foundation on
which to base your behaviour, you can behave naturally and,
naturally, you will behave consistently. From my personal obser-
vation I believe that the ‘right thing’ is nearly always the smart
thing. Most people can use their intellect to deduce what the
right thing to do is in most circumstances. The golden rule will
ensure that those managers who behave in a principled way will
be respected. Your staff will not respect you less, and may even
respect you more, if they know that you are using your intellect,
rather than your nature, to behave well.
The straight bat
Another example of the application of integrity is to use what
I call the straight bat approach to tricky management problems.
In situations where you are unsure of people’s motives or reac-
tions, I recommend that you play
the situation from a principled view
of trying to do the right thing. There
are three great advantages of this
approach. First, from my own per-
sonal experience, it is as effective, and often more effective, than
more sophisticated tactics. Second, it is very easy to defend your
actions, and often people will respond to honesty with honesty.
Last, if everything goes pear-shaped and you get shot, then you
can console yourself with the thought that you tried to do the
right thing and that your problems are not the result of playing
the politics wrong.
your problems are not
the result of playing the
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