Friday, September 16, 2005

Philosophical musings

So Jim from Smoke On The Water and I were kicking around some random philosphy, and we got to talking about how a man should manage a staff, live his life, fight a man, fight a war...

Basically we were getting all Heinleiny, and Jim says "Hey that'd make a good management seminar"

Anyway, what we came up with was this

First, the classic code of chivalry:

To fear God and maintain His Church

To serve the liege lord* in valour and faith

To protect the weak and defenceless

To give succour to widows and orphans

To refrain from the wanton giving of offence

To live by honour and for glory

To despise pecuniary reward

To fight for the welfare of all

To obey those placed in authority

To guard the honour of fellow knights

To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit

To keep faith

At all times to speak the truth

To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun

To respect the honour of women

Never to refuse a challenge from an equal

Never to turn the back upon a foe.
Now you need to throw in my personal management philosophy.

My management philosophy has a few very basic, but very important tenets:

  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Professionalism
  • Communication
  • Honor
  • Loyalty
To this end, I have some rules to live by. The rules are simple, but they are critical:

  • You are adults, I will treat you as such
  • You are professionals, I will treat you as such
  • I am your advocate; I do my best for you
  • In return, you do your best for me

  • I trust you completely – ONCE
  • Trust your team completely – with all others; trust, but verify
  • Life Comes First

  • K.I.S.S.
  • The “P”s
  • Planning (SMESCS)
  • Mission focus

  • Be prepared
  • Be creative
  • No idea is a bad idea (but it may not be the RIGHT idea)

  • Never say "That's impossible" to the guy who's actually doing it
  • Take risks – but understand and MANAGE them

  • Good is Enough; Good Enough Isn’t
  • Unintended consequences
  • Good intentions matter, but good results matter more
  • Sometimes you have to make the “least bad” decision
  • The Perfect is the enemy of the good
Now some of these rules may require more explanation:

  • Keep
  • It
  • Simple
  • Somethingorother (depending on how rude you want to be)
The "P"s
  • Prior
  • Preparation
  • Prevents
  • Poor
  • Performance
  • S ituation
  • M ission (or objective)
  • E xecution
  • S ervice and Support
  • C ommand Control Communications
  • S upply and Logistics


  • What is a MISSION?
  • What’s the difference between a mission, and an objective? (two answers)
  • What is OUR mission??????


No matter what you do, what you know, or what your intentions are; every word you say, every thing you do, will have consequences you did not intend, forsee, or understand.

Oh and there's an important maxim to live by:

Expect and require excellence, and you will often recieve it.
Expect and reqire no more than mediocrity, and you always will recieve it.

Now we're off to a good start, but we need to leaven it with some classics.

Lets add in Von Clausewitz, Heinlein, Sun-Tzu, Von Mises, Robert E. Lee, and Adam Smith...

To my mind, you can't do any better than that