The Most Important Rule

In this article, I want to share with you one of the things that changed my life and that could make the difference for you too! Have you ever had someone on your team that is not aligned? Do you ask your team for something and not everybody agrees? Have you been in a team whereas long as everything goes well people get along, but when the first emotional or financial bump happens the stress increases, conflicts start and everyone runs away trying to defend themselves?

I often talk to veterinarians who have extremely negative collaboration experiences or have to deal with colleagues who refuse to cooperate. What always emerges after asking several questions, is how the absence of this only key that I want to share with you is at the same time the source of the problem and the solution. The number one rule that, if applied not only to yourself but also to your organization, totally changes the history of the team and the trajectory of your life. What I will now share with you has been around for a long time and I have learned it from my mentor Blair Singer, who in turn learned it from one of his mentors. When we work with other people, groups or teams, the first thing we do wherever we are in the world is to establish a code of honor, a set of rules to create a context in which any activity and/or discussion takes place. I will not talk about the code of honor in this article, but of how useless it is to have a whole series of rules if we leave this one out.

We all know that we have a few “Litte Voices” in our heads, beautiful and less beautiful, that take us up but that often take us down… “you could have done better, you’re not good enough, you can’t do it, it doesn’t work….” And not to speak of what happens when we make mistakes, considering that since we are little they are associated with a failure, so the first reaction may be to DENY the evidence. Don’t admit the mistake, run away. Well, in this way you become a LIER:

I have not handed in my numbers, the paperwork, a bill… but I don’t say anything to anybody.

I DENY. This is particularly significant for ourselves, we don’t like to recognize our mistakes. The second reaction is to LAY BLAME. How many times do we happen to blame someone else or the circumstances? It is the fault of my collaborator, of my boss, of the client, of the government… We put ourselves in the role of the VICTIM. Do you like to play VICTIM?… I don’t think so.

By blaming something or somebody else, we don’t do ourselves a favor and it sets off your team. Finally, the third reaction is to JUSTIFY. You can become a master of this, “I’m tired, I have no time, no one told me” and you fall back to lay blame or denial. This is a bad vicious circle! We find excuses for not having done something. To find excuses is to admit that you are incapable. You know that they are excuses and let them pass over? Don’t do it! There is only one way to be successful: it is if you put yourself in the position of being 100% responsible. Aren’t your finances the way you want them to be? Customers don’t pay you? “Nobody has taught me this, nobody has told me this”: be responsible, acquire financial education, ask whoever has already done it successfully.

This is the rule, the mother of any other rule: NO DENIAL, NO LAY BLAME, NO JUSTIFICATION, BE 100% RESPONSIBLE, not 90% or 99%, but 100% responsible. Everyone in the team must be 100% responsible, regardless of his/her position and…. be ready to call and to be called. Being responsible does not mean that you could have changed the events, but is how you react to them. It becomes a way of life, it is a commitment that we make with ourselves first of all and then with the others. This rule has to be put in writing, it has to be shared with your team, and if somebody doesn’t want to adopt it is your choice if to keep him/her on board. In our business, for example, we have chosen not to have to work with us anybody that does not want to follow this rue. No one is perfect and mistakes are made, but it is only by acknowledging them and taking responsibility that we learn and grow.

I, therefore, invite you to have rules but the one that should always be included is NO DENIAL, NO LAY BLAME, NO JUSTIFICATION and BE 100% RESPONSIBLE: this will change your business, your working and personal relationships, your life.

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