Rule 41: Look after yourself

Nigerian Billionaire Chief Sunny Odogwu (Ide Ahaba of  Asaba)

people you deal with are probably decent and good to be around.  However, there are always a few who
aren’t.  You can’t avoid them – the
bastards, the jealous colleagues, the ones who will take any opportunity to
stab you in the back or do you down. 

They’ll shoot you down in flames at any chance they get.  Make sure that your new image doesn’t make
you a target.  This rule is about minimizing
enemies and staying one jump ahead.  As
you get more successful it is often a sort of organic process that you attract
jealousy and envy.  By practicing this
rule you will avoid this and look after yourself – especially your back.

               …And know the ethics
of your industry
what do you do for a living?  I don’t
mean the actual job.  I mean what
contribution do you make to society?  Is
your contribution positive, beneficial, healthy?  Or is it detrimental, negative, and damaging?  What does your industry do?  How much a part of that industry are
you?  Have you considered the ethics of
your industry?

“You have to implant
the idea of the whistle blower – ‘Hey what would they do with this?’  This way you will be one of the company
people while still playing the ethics card”. 

do we mean by ethics?  Ethics are the
morals of your industry – the right and wrongs, the good and bad.  Is your industry a good thing or a bad
thing?  Does it hurt or heal?  Is it putting something positive into society
or merely taking something out?

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you don’t have to walk out if you have just suddenly decided that your own
particular industry stinks.  What you can
do is work from the inside to change things. 
I don’t think we’re talking environmental issues here, although I am
aware that they may be of concern to a lot of us.  Instead, I want you to concentrate on what
your industry does morally.
if you do decide that your industry is unjustified in its approach – and this
happened to me and I walked and you simply cannot live with it, then you have
to get out.  This is good karma and you gain benefit even if you
do lose out financially.  Within your
industry there will be good bits and bad bits. 
Occasionally, you will be asked to cross the line and do bad
things.  Obviously, you will have read Rule
: set personal standards but this is about helping set standards
for your industry rather than personal ones. 
You have to point out that morally, ethically, what you are being asked
to do is bad for the company.  Constantly
say, ‘what would the press do if they got
hold of this?’
  And offer them a
suitable headline: ‘Scrooge Ltd replaces
sacked workers with Asian sweatshop labor’.
you can be as assertive as you like and refuse, but you might just get labeled
then as a wimp who is frightened to get their hands dirty – no guts, that sort
of thing.  No, you have to point out the
ramifications for the company.  You have
to implant the idea of the whistle blower
‘Hey what would they do with this?’
This way you will be one of the company people while still playing the
ethics card.  You will be one of us and
one of them all at the same time.
do all this, you have to know the ethics of your industry and know what its
contribution is.  Do your research now.
 (Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to spot
the legalities of your industry”
from The
tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

Rule-to-Work Series


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