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Ten Rules

While talking with clients, either one on one meetings or in seminars, I’ve said the following a million times: “The books on parenting and the books on leadership are remarkably similar. People, of course, don’t think of themselves as kids but the passions between boss and team members aren’t that different than parent and kids.” So, today I downloaded an article. It’s one of those “Ten Rules” kind of things. Reply to me whether you think it’s an article for new managers or new parents. In the next one of these, I’ll tell you the details. Here we go:

1. Sad happens.

Nothing can shield you from disappointment. Prepare for these moments by knowing they will come, but embrace life to the fullest in the in-between spaces.

2. Mitigate regret.

Do your best to honor yourself and others every day so you don’t look back with a whole lot of woulda, shoulda, couldas under your belt. Ask yourself, “How will I look back on this decision? With pride? With embarrassment?” Then, go from there.

3. Guilt is just a feeling.

Does guilt have its place? Sure. But when you feel guilty about something, acknowledge it for what it is — an emotion — and do your best to move on.

4. It’s not always about you.

Someone says something unkind? Criticizes you unfairly? More often than not, they’re talking about themselves. Haters feel hated so they lash out at others. If you take a moment to understand this, you’ll be able to shake it — and them — off more quickly.

5. Not every feeling is worthy of a petri dish.

There will be plenty of opportunities to reflect on your own behaviors or those of others. Do yourself a favor, and don’t get sucked into putting every conversation or interaction under a microscope. You’ll be exhausted.

6. Don’t expect perfection.

Even the people you trust will say and do things that really sting. Learn now that relationships are complex in all of their beauty and pain. If you expect your inner circle will always get it right, you’re setting yourself up for crushing disappointment.

7. Run from drama.

We all get caught up in it. It can be mesmerizing but, more often than not, it’s an energy-drain. You have better things to do with your time than getting caught in a web of high emotion with a very low return.

8. Take the blame.

If you consistently point the finger at others to account for your unhappiness and mistakes, you’re doomed for doom. Even when fault seems to fall squarely on another’s shoulders, ask yourself, “What part did I play in this? How could I have handled it differently?” Without this ability, you’re signing up for a life of bitterness with a capital B.

9. Choose wisely.

Most things in life have a choice component. Exercise your autonomy by recognizing situations in which you’re able to make healthy changes to your benefit.

10. Find your tribe.

Surround yourself with like-minded people who respect and like you (and vice-versa). By linking your life to those who challenge and inspire you, you’ll find you have less time for the drama queens and kings, and more time for peace, equilibrium and goal-setting.

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