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Personal philosophies

Checklist 2 146x219Chris Guy, a former local authority head of legal, sets out how he tried to overcome his weaknesses.

Some time ago I had cause to consider my strengths and weaknesses; and in particular what I could do to help overcome the latter.

I thought it might be useful to share the “10 Commandments” I came up with:

  1. Be slow and measured in everything.

  2. Remember - two ears and one mouth; use them in that proportion. "The weak man babbled his thoughts to any that would listen. The strong man kept his silence" [David Wingrove, Chung Kuo Book 4 "The Stone Within"]

  3. Be softly spoken and pause - especially when being firm.
  4. No knee-jerk reactions, emails, phone-calls etc. Take advice before reacting.
  5. Stop apologising. Stop saying sorry. Toughen up; don't worry about not being liked.

  6. Every setback should be seen as an opportunity to do things differently, to reassess personal philosophy and strategies to work. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

  7. Management is about enabling great things.
  8. Don't hide behind processes. They are no substitute for leadership, taking responsibility, wisdom, judgement and leadership.

  9. Be transparent - honesty is the best policy.
  10. Meetings are often useless. Do I need to be there? Will I be adding value? Consider "standing meetings" and/or in a cold room!

The above are as written. I thought about tidying them up for public consumption, but I think seeing them unvarnished, as at the moment of conception, is more useful. Such philosophies don’t need to be works of art!

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Do I always live up to these commandments? Well those who know me will be having a chuckle when they read this…but I would give myself a little pat on the back – if only for self-awareness!

Chris Guy is a management consultant and former head of governance. He can be contacted on 07988 811 066 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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