Rule 48: Cultivate your support/contracts/friends

Globacom’s Strong Man, Otunba Niyi Adewunmi and  Ex-Minister of Communication, Mrs. Omobola Johnson 
If
you don’t cover up for people, what use are you to them?  As I have said it’s a real world out there
and people expect a lot of you.  They
want you to be in their debt.  They want
you to carry the can, cover up for them, do their dirty work for them and watch
their back – and all at the same time. 
But you are a Rules Player now and that takes you
outside the spheres of petty office gang warfare.  You are now a stand-alone item.  You don’t feed with the sharks and yet you
avoid being their food.  What are you and
what are you for?

You
are a pool of calm, the eye of the storm. 
You are the reliable strength of the team, unshakeable and
unshaken.  You are the default setting,
the honesty factor, the standard by which all other colleagues judge
themselves. If you think it’s a no-go area then they will know it is.  If you turn your back on a tricky situation
they too will know it’s not to be touched. 
If you say its fine, then they know it’s a good thing.

“The unspoken wisdom
is generally to be ruthless, take advantage; dog eat dog.  The consequence of this is everyone thinks
like a dog and not like a real person. 
You come along and show them how it really should be and they will
follow you anywhere, you old dog you”.


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You
are the standard bearer, the criteria by which all else are judged. Don’t
believe me?  Try it, it works.
And
because you are so reliable, honest, trustworthy other colleagues will quickly
come to rely on you for advice and guidance. 
You, however, give nothing away for free.  Every part on the back, every prod in the
right direction, every session of useful hints and tips, every point of
guidance comes with a price – loyalty. 
You may not hunt with the pack, but by golly the pack had better know
who really the pack leader is.  Yep, you.
How to achieve this?  By kindness, by
consideration, by playing it straight; never let them down.  Never rat on them.  Never drop them in it.  Always be cheerful, supportive, and loyal—don’t
lie or cover up, but do close ranks if you can – protective, co-operative,
caring and genuinely interested in them as human beings.  You’ll have ‘em eating out of your hand’.  Why? 
Because this is a rare game to play. 
Playing it straight is such an unusual thing that they will have no defense
against it, no protection.  There are few
management training books or courses that teach you to be nice, be straight, and
be honest. The unspoken wisdom is generally to be ruthless, take advantage; dog
eat dog.  The consequence of this is
everyone thinks like a dog and not like a real person.  You come along and show them how it really
should be and they will follow you anywhere, you old dog you.
(Excerpts from THE
RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to understand other people’s motives” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

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