The rule book gets smaller as you move up

29 05 2014

“Love is like playing the piano.  First you must learn to play by the rules, then you must forget the rules and play from your heart.” ~Unknown

Excellence in your career seems to me to be the same way.  You get hired to do an entry-level job.  You must learn the rules of that job, and do well at it.  As you follow the rules and excel, you get promoted.  Management has to be played from your heart, gut and head.  The rule-book on management gets thinner the higher you go.  More and more, you’re asked questions that you can’t look up the answers to.  More people are relying on your best judgment, and you’re not always going to be right.  You just do your best, and learn from your mistakes.

Some people can hack that pressure, and even thrive in uncertainty.  Others have tasted it and said “that’s not for me – let me do a job that has a thicker rule book”.  The good news is successful companies need both types, and it’s possible for people to thrive in both worlds.

Speaking of Piano…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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