My Thoughts by Rick Stephens

Do You Know the Rules?

Posted in General Business,Leadership by Rick on the May 2nd, 2007

I’ve been watching my local basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, struggling in their first round of the playoffs, hoping this is the year they take it all. I still have confidence that they can win, but an interesting thing occurred to me during last night’s game. I was talking out loud to the TV as I often do during ball games (I think it’s a guy thing) and many times I would shout something like “That looked like goal tending to me!”, or “That wasn’t Charging!”.

My wife patiently read her book as all of this was going on but finally she looked up from her book and said “How do you know all these rules?” It made me take a moment and think as to why some people know the rules better than others, not only in basketball, but in all sports. I examined my own knowledge level of sporting rules and quickly determined that even though I may watch all kinds of sports, baseball, football, golf, Hockey, etc., there are some sports in which I understand the rules better than in others.

I tried to think about why that was so, and eventually I came to the conclusion that the sports that I actually participated in as a youngster were the ones in which I had the most knowledge of the rules. I believe this is probably true with most people. If you have ever played baseball you probably understand what an infield fly rule is all about and why it exists. If you have never played golf you probably don’t completely understand when and where you can take a non penalized drop or how it is done.

I believe this is true in the business world as well. Those of us who have gone through the trials and tribulations of running a business have made enough mistakes that we are quite familiar with what will work and what will not work, the rules so to speak. Just because we might have an advanced business degree doesn’t mean that we know all of the rules. A degree by itself is probably similar to watching the sport but never playing it.

This brings me to the point of this article; never underestimate the value an experienced advisor can bring to the table. Many business people will fail simply because they did not know the rules they were playing under. Keep your business advisor close and consult with him/her frequently. Their EXPERIENCE will make a significant and positive impact on your success. You’ll soon be playing the game of business with a high level of knowledge. It is a lot more fun when you understand the rules.

The last thing you want is to hear the referee blowing his whistle, pointing at you, and slapping a penalty on you because you did not understand the “3 seconds in the paint” rule!

To Your Success –
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