Benjamin Zander, effectiveness, planning, Teamwork

Rule #6

Rule number sis I’ll won’t comment on the length of time between posts and just get on with Ben Zander’s next chapter. It’s called Rule Number Six.

He relates the story of the company president who asked interrupting employees to remember this rule. A visitor was impressed and asked what it was. The president replied ” Don’t take yourself so g-damn seriously” The visitor thought this was an excellent rule and wondered what the others were “There aren’t any!’ came the reply.

It’s a good reminder for all of us. We become wrapped up in our own worlds, taking offence when we are interrupted or when our views meet disagreement head on. Many years ago I worked for a president who took herself very seriously. The issue was a name change of a choral organization and the discussion had gone on much too long. We were looking at the acronym since all organizations seem to like calling themselves by their initials. Ontario Choral Association sounded too much like the Ontario College of Art. Ontario Association of Choirs sounded too much like the funding body, Ontario Arts Council. A wag at the other end of the table started circulating a memo by hand and each reader collapsed into repressed giggles. It finally came to me and I did the same. I was sitting beside the president who was in the chair. Should I pass it on? I did – and the discussion ended. The suggestion was “Federation of Upper Canada Choirs”.

Humour has a wonderful way of bringing us back to earth. In any discussion our over-involvement in our own immediate perspective can work against us. Rule #6 can help us with that.

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