Several years ago we started watching NCIS. It used to be a great show about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service before it got political. The characters are great and the story’s were great. I really liked all the characters but I loved Gibbs.
Gibbs is the leader of the team and is a seemingly heartless pragmatist. Until you get to know him. You find out quickly that he has a huge heart and lots of baggage. But is very good at his job and a great leader. Someone I would like to emulate in some ways, in others not so much. One of the mainstay of the show is Gibbs rules. He doesn’t write them down. He feels it’s his job to teach the rules and he expects everyone on the team to know them.
I started thinking. “what are my rules?” so I started a list and here they are, 30 of Gary’s rules:
- Always default to relationship
- Always assume the best in people
- Don’t make arbitrary rules
- Always give your people a “why”; or they will come up with their own and they will be wrong
- Always give honor and respect; not always obedience
- Never judge motives, only fruit
- What you allow you promote
- What you reward you get more of
- Unity trumps disunity
- Continually cast vision
- Email is the lowest form of communication; texts are the next lowest
- Vision that creates opportunity for others; will never lack the involvement of others
- Sometimes your’re wrong; when you’re wrong apologize, it’s a sign of strength.
- Direction comes before correction
- Always over communicate
- Don’t give too much attention to your biggest fans or your biggest critics
- If you’re going to get into trouble anyway; get into trouble doing the right thing.
- Be predictable; your team should always know how you will react
- Training too close to the decision making process looks like lobbying.
- Ignore the squeaky wheel
- Ignore your weaknesses; hire or delegate to your weakness
- The best time to remove a team member is before they’re on the team.
- Always reward faithfulness over giftedness.
- Never confuse familiarity with understanding
- Focus on building big people not big organizations
- Nothing grows without conflict
- Consensus is the end of leadership
- Be very careful when playing the “God” card
- Take responsibility not blame
- Always give credit, take blame
These are not all original. I’ve stolen most of them and have forgotten mostly where they came from so if you know the origin feel free to give credit in the comments.
I plan to do a series of blog posts expounding on these rules someday. Stay tuned.
What do you think?
What would you add?