Some Rules Are Better Left Unread



The bullet whistled right by my head, missing me by less than an inch.  

I had just one bullet left in my magazine, yet this piece I was holding could actually carry 12.    I decided I needed more.  I decided I needed to launch another barrage of gunfire to bring him down.  I reached slowly behind me to load  some bullets that had fallen out of my pocket, not knowing for sure if he could see me or not.  

I heard it coming, the second one.   Then I felt it explode into the back of my head.

Less than an hour after Church this last Sunday, I am dead.

It’s a headshot you see.  It’s how it works.  He wins.  Those are the rules. 

Well not really.  In fact, the rules written are quite the opposite of what we actually do when we break out the powerful Nerf gun blasters and conduct Living Room Warfare.

What, you say?  Doesn’t the box clearly state… don’t aim at other people’s faces with Nerf gun dart blasters?  Please.     No self respecting father with a 13 year old son would follow a rule like that.   What’s the fun in that?

Aside from the only rule I insist on which is that we both wear eye protection (only to avoid an afternoon in the ER), we believe Nerf guns were made for headshots.  We believe that Nerf guns were made for face shots and especially ear shots (which hurt nasty).  So skip the flimsy targets that come in the box and the goofy Velcro vests; you are going down with (hopefully) a foam bullet shot right to the middle of your forehead.

Here’s the real point.  And it’s a good one because I fancy myself most of the time to be a rule follower (in fact, my family frequently quotes me sarcastically “ ..Without rules, there’s chaos…”.) 

Sometimes, rules are better left unread.  

Sometimes rules not followed make it more fun, or more memorable or more special or more helpful or just…more better.  So be it lack of following all the rules for Living Room Warfare or for the Rules of Work, it does not matter;

Here are 3 other rules that are often better left unread.

Get to work on time.  Sure, it’s part of a manual, HR handout or your own sense of when to start your day, but you are in sales.  Unless you are staffing a phone with incoming calls you need to think that this is a rule to be abandoned.  You can’t get a hold of owners, CEO’s or entrepreneurs at “normal hours”.  Gotta mix it up and call later or earlier or even on Saturday.  And by the way, you will differentiate yourself from the competition in a very good way if you do it right.

Social Network on Your Own Time.  If one thinks a professional LinkedIn page, Twitter account or Facebook page is something not considered work relevant; one would be mistaken.  It is called Reputation Management and if you are a Sales person you need to have a Glowing Web Reputation to manage.  Take the time to build and be credible in the social internet spheres.  Your customers and prospects will be searching and be looking for you, who you hang out with and what you say.  “Professional” is the key here folks and in your sales space where trust is low, reputation must be high.

Employees Are Required To Take Vacation;   No you aren’t.   There’s nothing that says you can’t stop showing up at work 2 weeks a year yet be waist deep in learning new or better skills to do your job.   Wouldn’t be a waste to read 7 Jeffrey Gitomer books or every Seth Godin Book or a Jill Konrath Book or an Art Szobcek book; all of which would help you not in just work ……but in life.   If you ain’t learning, you are dying. 

Till next time,

Grow The Business.



3 thoughts on “Some Rules Are Better Left Unread

  1. Mark – The rules in every function are changing. You are correct that many of the formal rules of organizations impede success in sales (and marketing). I hear of more and more businesses refusing to allow their employees to use LinkedIn and other tools from the office. I am sure there are defensive reasons for these rules. Salespeople everywhere need to remind everyone of the importance of good offense.

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