Rule 1: Good questions are more important than an easy answer. The "silly question" is often not silly at all, it's the beginning of a new pathway toward a solution. I remember reading that when Einstein was asked what was the secret of his success, he unhesitatingly replied, "The most important thing is not to stop the questioning. "Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They knew the power of that most important word in any language. All great inventions, new ideas, works of art, are based on curiosity. Millions saw apples fall off trees, but it was Newton who asked, "Why?"
Rule 2: Curiosity is a process. I wrote a magazine article years go entitled "Life Is a Journey, Not a Destination." It was fundamentally about creating a driving force in your life, understanding that force and always challenging it through self-evaluation and questioning. In other words, one of the most important characteristics one must possess for success in a world that is predicated on the survival of the fittest is an
interest in life, good, bad, or peculiar.
Rule 3: Curiosity should always be challenging and always solidify a sense of commitment. The goal is to solve the problem, to win the game, to get past the place where you might have been stuck. The goal of winning slips away with the loss of curiosity. Though curiosity is a child's possession, an adult can use it consciously as a tool, can develop it in the building of a winning strategy. It does not matter if the game is running a Fortune 500 company or a family, curiosity leads to understanding (your competition, your colleagues, your family) and ultimately to the implementation of goals. Curiosity should be a verb, not a noun. Curiosity is connected to doing, to solving, experimenting, trying, failing, and then accomplishing. "How does this work?" "What do I do?" "What happens next?" "What do I do to make this turn out the way I want-or the way you want?" "How do I get from here to there?" "What can I do to help you (or myself)?" Those are all basic questions that stem from curiosity, but that are also basic to winning.
Rule 4: Ask questions. A silly question is worth any number of easy answers.
Rule 5: Remember that curiosity is a process, and it is not a solution in itself. It's ongoing and always leaves it to you to figure out what you need to do next.
Rule 6: To really be committed, you must always pursue the questions until you get meaningful answers.
Rule 7: Establish your business culture around your team. A business culture in its simplest form is nothing more than the environment in which decisions are made. All business cultures, all families, succeed or fail on the basis of the decisions they make. So the concept of team ego is a factor in getting individuals to see success not in terms of individual performance but rather in getting more fulfillment from the group's success.
Rule 8: Help everyone on the team understand where the group is going, how it is going to get there, and, most important, why sharing decision-making is a critical step in achieving team ego. For example, most companies in America do not share their financial or budgeting processes with anyone in the company except the senior managers. I've always been impressed with those companies that practice what is called open-book management. Since everyone's paycheck depends on the team's success, why not have everyone on the team fully understand how much it costs the company to make products or provide services? Understanding these "details" will empower folks to do their part to benefit the team.
Rule 9: Create unselfishness as the most important team characteristic. I remember once speaking to a group of top salespeople-not the whole sales force, only the ones who had excelled. I remember raising some eyebrows when I said I was speaking to the wrong audience. Those who needed lessons in motivation and winning were the ones I needed to talk to but who weren't there. But I went on to say to them, "Next year, your job is to work together to ensure that every salesperson makes it to these awards presentations. Your job is to wake up in the morning and say, 'What can I do to help those I work with succeed? What can I do today to make the team better?' " The response I got was one of the most enthusiastic I have ever received on the lecture trail.
Rule 10: Establish your business environment. Help everyone understand the power in decision-making that benefits the team.
Rule 11: Make sure the team is part of the process. Help your business team or family or basketball team understand not only what's going to happen but also the whys and the hows.
Rule 12: Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute. Philip Caldwell, the former CEO at Ford who helped turn the company around, made many memorable statements. One that impressed me was "The important thing to recognize is that it takes a team. And the team ought to get credit for both the wins and the losses. Successes have many fathers, failures none."
Rule 13: Listening is more important than talking. When you are an active listener, you are respecting what the other person is feeling or expressing.
Rule 14: Listening is a skill that requires you to subordinate your own views when listening to someone else. The more you practice the more you will be able to distinguish, for your self, the difference between hearing and listening. Start by keeping the mouth tightly closed. I do not mean to be cute, but if you have grown up in the type of family where dinner conversations are laced with noisy interruptions, this may be tough, but don't give up. The point is that to become an effective listener you may have to break some bad habits.
Rule 15: Convert your listening skills to effective language skills. Once you have learned to listen, become especially mindful of the kinds of words and phrases you use that will help others listen to you more effectively. Listening is ultimately about effective communication, and everyone can benefit from that. The effort and practice of effective listening has a big payoff in every facet of life. I've noticed time and again that we as humans tend to respect and even to like those who listen to us even if they disagree with us. It is a basic but powerful human need to be understood, and the effective listener is filling that need as well as gaining information that he or she may need.
1. Do you find yourself trying to come up with a "better" story than the one the speaker is telling?
2. Are you nodding yes when you are not really listening just to keep the conversation moving?
3. Do you make eye contact with the speaker?
4. Do you find that you forget what has been said immediately following the conversation?
5. Are you asking trivial questions to seem as if you are listening?
6. Are you always interrupting because you feel you have a "more important" thing to say?
Rule 16: Make sure your ears are open enough not only to catch what is said, but to pick up the intention of the speaker.
Rule 17: Make sure you know your own intention as a listener. Are you hearing, or are you listening?
Rule 18: Combine these very different intentions that you pick up from listening into something that can help you make useful decisions. Call it translation, call it interaction, but what is most essential is having an ability to combine what is said with what is meant so that useful decision-making may follow.
Rule 19: Successful teams of any kind are benevolent dictatorships. If you lead wisely, you'll be followed cheerfully.
Rule 20: Be adaptable. Great leaders can follow as well as lead. It's the difference between an outside-in leader and an inside-out leader. Outside-in leaders are always finding ways to include others, to use, draw out, and promote others in their counsels and decision-making. Inside-out leaders rely solely on their own intuition, logic, and counsel, which they then project outward in the form of commands.
Rule 21: Real kindness is an act of strength and a tremendous leadership asset. Two thoughts my grandfather left me with were to praise loudly and blame softly, and not to forget a throne is nothing more than a bench covered in velvet.
Remember the five most important words: "I am proud of you."
Remember the four most important words: "What is your opinion?"
Remember the three most important words: "I appreciate that."
Remember the two most important words: "Thank you."
And remember the most important word: "You."
Toughness is the ability to shut out all that is irrelevant in reaching a goal and to inspire others to follow you.
A good leader is always a follower as much as he is a ruler. The team comes first. That was why Red listened to his players and got out of the way when he felt they were right. What has to be understood about toughness is that it is necessary only because a team, a business, a family, cannot exist without core leadership. Decisions can be made in many ways, top-down or democratically, but ultimately there must be responsibility for decision-making. Tenderness is always the result of intelligence. In other words, tenderness allowed these leaders to better see and respect the talents of those they were dealing with. Far from being soft-headed, these leaders were exhibiting farsightedness that led directly to the enormous successes they achieved in life. A tyrant without tenderness, a tough guy who prides himself on his toughness, may accomplish things, but does so with a reluctant army behind him.
Rule 22: Successful teams of are dictatorships. Not a bad, but necessary component of a winning team.
Rule 23: Good dictators follow and lead. They will encourage, not discourage, the people who work for them.
Rule 24: Tenderness in an act of strength and can be a most powerful leadership trait when it is used to recognize and promote the abilities and talents of others.
Rule 25: Invisibility is an extra dimension, an "X factor" that can be used, if understood, in relationships on all levels, personal, corporate, collective. It allows the "invisible" company the chance to augment its power, to appear unexpectedly, have knowledge unanticipated, to intimidate rather than to muscle the competition.
Rule 26: Invisibility can be used as a practical tool, but only at the point when we recognize that others may not see us as we are (or may not see us at all). When that is understood, when we make the conscious effort to see that we are not seen, we can then put ourselves into position to define ourselves on our terms. The ability to do this is fundamental in any successful relationship whether it is in business or at home.
Rule 27: Invisibility opens doors, creates opportunity where none seemed to exist before. When we are unseen, we have an enormous advantage in moving in, in doing things we wish or need to do, and in the process to change the very dynamic of existing, seemingly closed, patterns. When economic conditions, for example, suggest that it would be unprofitable to open a business in certain depressed areas of the country, a shrewd investor will see that the area being looked at was never seen, that tremendous opportunity may exist there. Think of Wal-Mart or the Fairway supermarket chain, which opened a very profitable store in Harlem, New York.
Rule 28: Invisibility confers power. It is the "sixth man" on your team, the unseen but very present player who can consciously be employed in a winning strategy-in a company, in all relationships.
Rule 29: Use invisibility to shape how others see you. Create perceptions, don't just rely on them. The Boston Celtics, the Xerox Corporation, IBM, all have carried logos that have infiltrated the minds of competitors and of the public at large. You can be twice as big and three times -as powerful even when you're on the sidelines, watching the action.
Rule 30: Invisibility opens doors when they are locked, it and invisibility opens doors when they are always creates opportunity for those willing to see. Success is a result of consistent practice of winning skills and actions. There is nothing miraculous about the process. There is no luck involved. Amateurs hope and professionals work.
Rule 31: Learning is a daily experience and a lifetime mission. I truly believe in the saying "We work to become, not to acquire." The more I learned, the more I knew I had to learn. In fact, as part of your daily experience I think it is critical to understand why you are succeeding and build on it. For example, I never watched film of what I did wrong. I always watched films of games where I played well so I could learn more about what I did to help the team win that game. In college, K.C. Jones and I worked on not only being the best in the country, we worked on being as astute as we could possibly be. The basketball court became our classroom, workroom, and laboratory. Whether it was learning how to force a certain shot that would result in a certain rebound angle, or how certain players would likely act in game situations, we wanted to understand the game at a level other players before-and probably since-never approached.
Rule 32: Craftsmanship and quality are never an accident. Craftsmanship is the result of sincere effort, principled intentions, intelligent direction, and skillful execution. It could be said that craftsmanship represents the highest choice of many alternatives.
Rule 33: Make craftsmanship contagious. Players on great teams learn from each other. The lifetime of experiences we bring to each relationship is a gift to be shared. An entire team working to be the best will be the best. Craftsmanship is a way into what's best in yourself, the real mastery is always of yourself.
Rule 34: Learning should be a daily experience and a lifetime mission. Michelangelo said, "I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have." I always believed if Michelangelo felt that way, then I would always strive for the best because anything else would not be enough.
Rule 35: Craftsmanship and quality are never accidents. In lesson three, on listening, I talked about the importance of careful language selection to get folks to listen more effectively. Well, think about replacing the word quality with craftsmanship and reintroduce it as an integral part of your brand.
Rule 36: Make craftsmanship contagious. Craftsmanship and teamwork go hand in hand; one cannot happen without the other. If others see the care and dedication that you put into your job and into winning, they will follow. Accomplishing that is a true mark of a winning leader.
Rule 37: Take responsibility for everything you do. The first day of practice is the beginning of a championship season. The first memo in the morning is the beginning of the introduction of a new idea.
Rule 38: Stand behind the choices that you make. No leader can manage with "buts." That means committing yourself to understanding what goes into a choice: the information you have at your disposal, the competing arguments, everything that you will need to provide you with a willingness rather than an excuse to make a choice.
Rule 39: Be fully present in whatever you are doing. That means giving all of yourself to a task at hand. That sounds easy enough but it isn't, because there are so many ways to back off, to move away, to let others do for you what you know you have to do for yourself and your team. For me, the most succinct way I can talk about taking responsibility is to say that I always regarded the first day of practice as the beginning of a championship season. On my team, those who showed up in shape, ready to play and to give an all-out effort, understood this principle. They took their responsibilities seriously.
Rule 40: Take responsibility for everything you do. One great quality that leaders have is the ability to take responsibility-we all know that responsibility ultimately gravitates to the person who can shoulder it. We must all be strong enough. The more you stand behind what you do or what you decide, the more you will be able to feel that is a reflection of yourself. It is your integrity that is at stake when you genuinely take responsibility for what you do.
Rule 41: Make clear choices and stand behind those choices. This rule involves utilizing three powerful words: Ask, Listen, Decide.
Rule 42: Be fully present in whatever you are doing. Once you commit yourself to an activity, an appointment, a relationship, you have committed yourself to being there in an active and engaged way. Integrity means consciously committing yourself to reality, to what is right under your nose. It means immersing yourself wholeheartedly in whatever you are doing. Committing yourself to reality means doing everything you can to eliminate comparisons, fantasizing, wishing, or all the other mental distractions that not only take you out of the moment but also rob you of your own power. That will no doubt mean that someone else's "excellent" will, often, for you, only seem "very good." But the difference, in the end, will be about winning-and you, most of all, will be conscious of that.
Rule 43: Rebounding is both the end of the defense and the beginning of the offense. It is always an affirmative act and never a reaction. That you are able to rebound should always mean you are ready to take control of the situation.
Rule 44: Give up the victim mentality. Just because someone gets a shot off doesn't mean you're a bad player. Rebounding teaches us how to encapsulate an adverse moment and to move on from there.
Rule 45: Resilience is essential. Someone once said, "When you meet with triumph or disaster, treat those two impostors just the same." Resiliency, like rebounding, involves balance. One cannot win without resilience. Failures and setbacks occur all the time. Each one of us deals with adversity differently. The swing of our lives from good times to bad and back again is as inevitable as variations in the weather. But in the ways we deal with these variations we define ourselves. Rebounding is the metaphor in sports I like best because it so specifically expresses my idea of consciously taking positive actions to move on. A rebound in basketball is pure, simple, isolated. It takes place in the moment, it happens, and the game moves on. Rebounding is something that can happen naturally, instinctively, but for it to be really effective it has to have an added element of conscious intent so that it can actually change the flow of the game. In the instinctive way, it can be understood as a defensive play. But in the conscious way, it should be seen as the first step of the offense. Rebounding was my passion. Succeeding in business requires that same passion. Being a great rebounder in business requires the same brains, talent, and passion that I believe I brought to my skill at rebounding. Passion is the trigger of success. Without passion we are dormant forces and just possibilities, much like a flint awaits the iron to ignite the spark. To succeed you cannot play any other way than with passion. We enjoy the game more because of what we put into it. And no power is strong enough to keep us from succeeding. The sports clich? that you need to give 110 percent is just so much hot air; Intelligence, resourcefulness, patience, and skill matter far more. By all means work hard, but don't confuse perspiration with accomplishment. There may be sweat in success, but success doesn't have sweat glands.
Rule 46: Rebounding is an affirmative act. It begins the offense. The simple fact that you are in the game, able to rebound, is the first step to taking control.
Rule 47: You cannot rebound well if you have a victim mentality. If you are not the person who is called upon to shoot the game-winning shot at the end of the game, then put yourself in a position to get the rebound in case the shot is missed.
Rule 48: Build resilience both as a winner and in defeat. Understand why you are winning and never take it for granted. Recognize that it is harder to rebound from a win than to rebound from a defeat. Beginning in my freshman year, I developed the concept of horizontal and vertical games. I made a distinction between the two that others had not done. The horizontal game meant how I played side to side. The vertical game was how I played up and down. I knew that if I could integrate the two games, our team could win. I would always be in a position to determine where the ball was and where it was going. It all starts with imagination. As a player with the ball moved down the court, I visualized the angle that I would need to block his shot. Then, trailing him, I would take a step to the left so that I would then be coming at the shooter from an angle, allowing me to block his shot with my left hand while landing to the player's side rather than on his back. Not only did it turn out to be an intimidating move, but by arriving on the opposite side from where Id blocked the shot, what I had done might even have seemed a little mystical. Conversely, if the player was going down the opposite side, I'd block with my right hand and wind up on his left. By blocking shots without fouling I forced the opposition to react to the defense. Before I started to do this, the opposite was true. From that point for ward, this would also help me in a practical way. Because I would always be in their psyche, blocking shots I might physically never nave been able to get to.
Rule 49: It began when we used to stare out the window of our elementary-school classroom and think, "What if . . . ?" Imagination is a way of applying innovation and seeing a positive rather than a negative. It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Rule 50: An idea can be a feat of association. Good ideas are more often the stringing together of experiences, observations, and thoughts in a way that no one has done before. Good ideas make great conclusions.
Rule 51: Visualization is a practical skill that can be sharpened through exercise. Seeing yourself and others in your "game" brings not only a familiarity, but also the ability to see past the obvious to the nuance that can be the difference between winning and not winning. Visualization puts your imagination to work. I have found that this still is critical to winning. When we think of innovation we almost always have to recognize the power of imagination. Seeing all possibilities, seeing all that can be done, even if it has never been achieved, marks the power of imagination. Someone once said, first comes thought, then the organization of those thoughts into ideas and plans, and finally the transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, though, is your imagination. I've always treated my imagination as my own private laboratory. Here is where I rehearsed the possibilities; mapped out plans, moves, and countermoves; and visualized overcoming obstacles. It was a safe and successful place where imagination turned possibility into reality. The free-floating kind of imagination that we all have, that doesn't necessarily result in a company, product, or innovation, is still a potent power. Human beings dream. They see things that were never seen before. The images that seemingly just appear in our minds out of nowhere are as much a part of how we live our lives as drawing breath. It is therefore just as certain that many of the products of imagination will go nowhere, will dissipate like wisps of morning fog when the sun comes out. But imagination has this unexpected aspect of actualization built into it. What we see in our dreams or fantasies can often be made real when we then commit resources, labor, ingenuity, effort, to back it up. That is precisely the task of enlightened leadership. Artists are the ones we almost always associate with imagination. And perhaps there is no better place to start a discussion of our rules than with a reminder of just what imagination means to artists. Artists have visions. They see things that never were. Images, symbols, representations of the most fantastic shapes, ideas, concepts, come to mind. And then something else happens. The images, the mental representations, become actualized in paintings, stories, poems, tapestries, pieces of music, buildings. Writers for centuries imagined the existence of heaven and hell. They wrote about it as though it actually existed. The great. Italian poet Dante closed his eyes and imagined heaven and hell in ways described in the Bible. There were layers upon layers of each realm, rings upon rings, there was a geography almost as exact as that which humans relied upon to navigate the known globe. Dante then converted what he saw in his imagination into one of our greatest literary treasures. The poem he created was real and will be with us forever. He actualized what he had seen in his imagination. At that time, just before I was starting my college career, I quite consciously began using my imagination in a way that allowed me to apply what hadn't been seen before. I began systematically inventing another kind of game from the essentially flat-footed one I had grown up with. When I got to the Celtics, I knew that I was doing things differently from other centers and big men. I kept seeing things other players did not and translating them into moves I could make that were all my own. I clearly understood something I had put together as a concept back when I was a freshman in college thinking about the horizontal and vertical games. The game up to that point was known as vertical. The rim was an object above the heads of the players, the purpose of the game was to get the ball from down below through the rim up above. Players, whether they were dribbling the ball, shooting the ball, rebounding the ball, or whether they told themselves or not, all thought that the object was to score or to control the ball until it was possible to score. One of the college teams of that era operated with a slow-down system that resulted in final scores that read like baseball scores. But even there, the objective was the same-to stay in control of that vertical line between the ball, the player on the floor, and the basket. What I saw was how much more there was to the game than that. I would lie awake at night and play with numbers. How much time was there in an NBA game? Forty-eight minutes. How many shots were taken in a game? Maybe a hundred and sixty, eighty or so on each side. I calculated the number of seconds each shot took-a second, a second and a half-and then I multiplied by a hundred. Two hundred forty seconds at most-or four minutes. Then add a single extra second for a foul shot missed and then the ball put in play; add another minute at the most. So, five minutes out of forty-eight are actually taken up in the vertical game. What happens during the rest of the game? That was the challenge to my imagination. Visualizing what I needed to do against Wilt opened up so many moves for me. Because I could not challenge him directly, I had discovered new ways to defend him and other big men. I began to measure the court in a geometric way, understanding what kind of shots were most likely to be taken from what part of the floor. Nudging a player toward an area, I knew the most likely shot to be taken-and therefore I knew what I would need to do to defend against it.
Rule 52: Look for the positive in your imagination. If you go into a dark room, find the light switch.
Rule 53: Creative imagination means an idea is a feat of association. Taking unrelated thoughts or ideas and stringing them together sometimes creates a whole new concept. It creates order out of chaos.
Rule 54: Practice visualization. Try to run through scenarios or situations before you experience them so that when you do experience them, it is familiar to you. Actualize your imagination. Decision-Making is centered around Gathering Information, Assessing It, and Deciding What Is Pertinent for your specific situation, and what is the right decision for that moment. It may not work out, but knowing that you made the most informed, thoughtful, and intelligent decision based on the information you could gather at the time is all that you can hope for. Leadership is deciding when and where to implement the decision. What all sound decision-making has in common is discipline. Whether one chooses to let others in on the decision-making or not, discipline is required because any choice means that competing possibilities exist and therefore attractive alternatives or seemingly easier ways must be resisted. When decision-making is really sound, that sense of competing interests is likely to be strongest and will thus demand from a leader an ability to remain focused no matter what.
Rule 55: All choices must be with a clear and attainable goal in mind, even if it is only to move the process from point A to point B in an alphabet of points before success is assured. Decisions made without clear goals in mind are likely to create confusion, resentment, and failure. Others will quickly recognize it when goals are not spelled out, and even if there is a residue of good feeling for the decision maker, a subtle sense of uneasiness and uncertainty will tend to be undermining.
Rule 56: Delegating authority in decision-making can only take place successfully when there is absolute confidence in those to whom power is given. In delegating, the process is always about teamwork, not about surrendering responsibility. The goal in delegating is to make the team better, whether it is a corporation, a university, or a family. The CEO, the head of the family, the president, or whoever still has to be responsible for the choices to be made. They will be made in his or her name, and he or she will have to stand behind them. Therefore, in delegating, you must do everything possible to remain in active touch with those to whom power has been given. Make delegating a process of communication rather than the giving up of anything.
Rule 57: Think everything through first, then stick your neck out. Making no decision is far more dangerous than making the wrong decision. Just look at how the Celtics made decisions on what plays to use against a specific team. The most important, if most obvious, aspect of decision making is having clear goals in mind. An inside-out leader or decision maker looks at the world from the perspective of his or her own needs. The decision has little to do with the needs of the audience or customer . . . it's fundamentally I have this, or I need this, and I'm going to make a decision on those needs. The leader or decision maker sees everything from his or her own perspective. He takes his cues, his points of departure, his objectives, from himself, from the ultimate source: his own talents and abilities. He sees the world with himself at the center (whether he means to think that way or not). Decision-making, responsibility, accountability, everything must come from him because he is the source, the font of authority and wisdom. Of course, any viewpoint that begins with you as the center of the universe, the repository of all talent and responsibility, is bound to be narrow, self-oriented, and narcissistic. On the other hand, an outside-in decision-making style focuses on the needs of the audience. What's important to them? It is an inclusive view of problem-solving or resolution. In fact, it is an inclusive sales strategy because it takes in the needs of the customer and then allows the seller to "merge" the needs of the buyer with the wishes or attributes of the seller. Most effective outside-in thinkers are also effective listeners. Think back to lesson four, on creating your leadership style, and lesson three, on listening: these are all important aspects to making the right decision. Active listening allows you to hear what isn't being said as much as what is being said. Becoming an outside-in thinker requires a deep understanding of the needs of the "buyer." I don't know a more effective way to get that obvious and hidden understanding than to listen. Which type of manager are you? Which type of team player are you? Which type of decision maker are you? Inside-out and exclusive or outside-in and inclusive? In my opinion the outside-in decision maker is the ultimate team player because he or she also possesses one additional and vital aspect of behavior-discipline. Discipline is in part the ability to eliminate all the competing, vying personal needs and inclinations that will get in the way of making decisions that will benefit the team. Discipline is not really so much about self-abnegation as it is about having control of and a plan for your personal life to the point where you can do whatever you must to follow through. Individuals as much as people in collective settings are faced with this problem. Letting go is most difficult when we are most personally attached. The decision one makes to retire comes to mind. An individual can make no more important decision, yet what is most essential in making that decision is the ability to let go. It is hard to leave a company, a team, a way of life. So much has been invested, so much history, so much experience. What is important is the ability to let go so that you can move on to the next phase of your life. Retiring was my final victory. Not staying a minute too long, or a season too long, let me leave on my own terms. Knowing when to retire is difficult for any athlete or business person. You have to give up so much and start another life. But making that decision and sticking to it is one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make in your life. I encourage folks to look at this moment as starting a new season in a different game.
Rule 58: All decisions need to have a clear and attainable goal. Without that, no one will take your decision seriously or follow your directive with any passion.
Rule 59: Delegation can only become comfortable when the person you are delegating to has your full respect and confidence. You get this respect and confidence from the decisions that you make.
Rule 60: Think, then stick out your neck. Do not be afraid of making the wrong decision. The world has become an infinitely more complex and interrelated environment, one where it has become even clearer to me that the power of making a correct decision lies within each of us and offers us always the promise of leadership and the rewards that come with it. Winning doesn't happen automatically. It is always a step-by-step process that means that wherever you are in life, whatever you are doing, now is the right time to begin working, this moment is exactly the right moment to begin seeing yourself as a winner.
Rule 61: Look for an opportunity to win in any situation. Don't wait for a promotion or a better job. What t absorbed growing up and in every subsequent phase of my life was an understanding that winning was always a possibility. Don't overlook it. Ask yourself, always, what does it take to win today?
Rule 62: You have to be the one to determine how to measure winning. That means making sure you do not allow others to define how the game is going to be played. You have to familiarize yourself with the standards of your work. If expertise is what it takes, you have to do whatever is necessary to make yourself an expert, but it is always up to you to make sure you understand the crucial difference between doing something well or poorly. That's the real difference between winning and losing. If you are true with yourself, you will be true with everyone else, you will win no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing.
Rule 63: Start now, not tomorrow. This is essential because it means that you commit yourself wherever you find yourself. It means that if you are the twelfth man on your team, if you sit at the end of the bench, you make the most of an opportunity others would let slip. Coming from the background I did, I was never really surprised to see talented people have to fight to make lives for themselves. It is true that though talent, effort, and determination will enable some people to make their own way, many others fall by the wayside. People are worn down by the constant stereotyping, or else they place their dreams on hold while they deal with the more mundane needs of survival. Many talented people are held back through no fault of their own. I believe everyone can win in his or her own right and should be given that opportunity. Finding a way to win in life and business has little to do with your station in life. There are opportunities everywhere, and you must take advantage of them. I have memories of many who did just that.
Rule 64: Look for the opportunity to win in every situation. Know precisely what the lines and boundaries of your field are and learn the standards of success, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Keep at this until you really understand the difference between putting in hours and really doing a job.
Rule 65: No matter how often you have heard this before, you and you alone have to come to grips with any definition of success; it has to be yours, not someone else's. Doing your best at what seems like a lousy job is not a means of survival but of seeing the possibilities of winning. The most common stumbling block to success is when people, for one reason or another, tell themselves their best efforts will neither be needed nor recognized. Those who can give four dollars' worth of work for every three dollars of pay will be doing
far more than earning points with their boss, they will be creating their own conditions for success. Such success need only be a standard of pride in oneself. It will be enough, and more than likely, it will ultimately be recognized by others.
Rule 66: Take the first step to winning today. Make sure that you start from where you happen to find yourself. Don't wait for that better job, that greater opportunity, the raise or promotion you have coming, the dream you still have in the back of your mind. Now is the time. There will never be a better time, there is only this moment, this very moment wherever you happen to be, where the opportunity to see yourself as powerful and accomplished is right there, with you-always has been and always will be. Use it. Begin winning now. What I most want to emphasize is that what is called for here is not self-improvement, but applying what you already have. You don't need to be better than you are. Take what you have and put it to use. Russell's Rule for the Rest of the road is to understand that success is never a destination and always a journey.
1. Curiosity is a key to commitment and, specifically, to problem solving. Curiosity will always allow you to ask the right questions . . . Why? What if? How?
2. Everything you do begins with yourself, but for you to use ego to win, you have to make it all about your team. Winning is a team sport and can only be accomplished through team ego.
3. Listening lets you hear what isn't being said as much as what is. Active listening helps you find a new language that helps others listen more effectively.
4. Toughness and tenderness are not opposites but partners in effective leadership.
5. Invisibility is learning how to make your opponents believe they can't beat you even when you're not there.
6. Craftsmanship is to you what quality is to your product or service. It involves making yourself the most complete colleague, leader, or parent you can be.
7. Personal integrity is about setting standards and your choices, responsibilities, and commitments.
8. Rebounding is changing the flow of the game from defense to offense. From reaction to action. It is about developing the highest level of resilience.
9. Imagination is the gateway to innovation. Innovation is the foundation of differentiation. Winning is the greatest form of differentiation.
10. Decision-making is for leaders. Decision-making is most effective when it is inclusionary, not exclusionary.
11. Everyone has an opportunity to win in life. Winning is hard work. Winning is a team sport. It is the culmination of attitude, aptitude, and appetite.