These are not hard rules; but concepts to consider as you process inputs and direct outputs.
GREATNESS IS A HABIT
Be slack in one thing; be slack in everything. Be disciplined in one thing; be disciplined in everything. Achieve greatness in one thing; achieve greatness in everything. Greatness is not so much a specific achievement, as it is a habit of practice. You either do it; or you don't. Obsess with achieving perfection. You may not get there, but on the way you'll hit greatness.
FEAR THE CROWD
"The object of life is not to be on th side of the majority; but to escape finding yourself in the ranks of the insane". Marcus Aurelius. What this is telling you is to try and think and act away from the majority, for that's where mediocrity and backward vision resides. Tread your own path, and innovate by thinking independently, from first principles. Just mind you're not being so contrarian you're actually nuts.
WORKING RIGHT IS HARDER THAN WORKING HARD
People think they are more aggressive by resolving to try harder, work harder, get up earlier, sacrifice more. But it takes a person of intelligence, discipline and bravery to seek out the key changes that need to be made, the true adjustments that will break the pattern. Seek out truth, and the glory will come. Just working harder and hoping for better is a copout.
We are always told never to quit. But there are many times in life where a change is called for; and that staying the course we're on starts to become very costly. Those are times when we should iterate. Quitting is when you are forced out of something because you cannot carry on any more. Iterating is when you think about it consciously, and make a deliberate decision to change course. Failure to iterate is just as costly as quitting too early.
We go through the 5 concepts we should employ when thinking about risk. They are:
Only risk can deliver big upside
We should relish opportunities to roll the dice
Avoid existential risk at all cost
Understand and plan for the downside
Minimise the probability and impact of the downside
PLAN, PLAN AND PLAN AGAIN
"If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan properly". Colonel David Hackworth. "Ponder and deliberate before you make a move". Sun Tsu. Before you get into a situation, think it through. Plan it in your head. Consider what can go wrong, so you've thought about all possible permutations. This is a very valuable habit
CONSIDER THE PEOPLE
Always take the time to consider the relevant people; what they want, what they need, what they fear. What are their motivations. People are the key to success; and brains are the key to people.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
Nobody is strong or weak. People have strengths and weaknesses. Know your opponent, and you will understand the path to success. Fail to understand them, and you will stumble into failure.
LOCUS OF CONTROL
CONTROL WHO YOU ARE
You are what you do; and what you are capable of. These are things you can affect. Other things - what people think of you; the results of what you do; the circumstances you operate in; are not under your control. Control who you are. Don't worry about the rest.
DON'T FEAR WHAT'S TO COME
You have coped with the past; you cope with the present; and you will cope with the future. Whatever comes, you will be equal to it.
When you write the story of your life, the biggest leaps forward will have been caused by the big moments of adversity you encountered. Be happy when they arrive.
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
Improvement comes from constant practice. Running faster, singing better, being calmer, smiling more - they are all achieved by practice. There is no lightning bolt. It isn't binary. If you want to get better at something, define a process that will allow you to practice. Strive for intelligent, efficient practice; and expect failures along the way. But practice will get you there.
SEEK THE UNCOMFORTABLE
Improvement is the child of discomfort. You don't get better in your comfort zone. Seek discomfort in any endeavour, and you will likely find learning and improvement. And the opposite.
Give 100%. Aim for 100%. But sometimes, you accept 80% good and move on. Be mindful not to waste time waiting for 100% perfection, when 80% will get you there.
BE THE CONDUCTOR
True leverage is created by seeing the bigger picture - understanding how all of the pieces work individually; and how they fit together. Then, using them to create something magnificent. Better to be the skilled conductor than the brilliant violinist.
FIND A THIRD EYE
Learn to see yourself as others see you. To an underling, are you a work creator, or overloader? To a manager, are you a valuable resource or a management headache? To a peer, are you a tailwind or an energy drain? How replaceable are you, and how impactful? This should guide your engagement with your organisation.
PROTECT YOUR LINES
No colleague should ever take any sort of liberty with you. Managers are colleagues, and are very much included, even if they are the founder CEO. Stand your ground. You will either be respected and succeed; or find out that it is time for a change. Learn to see yourself as others see you - the resource you are, the problems you solve, what you bring and how hard you are to replace. Then act accordingly.