Ways to distinguish yourself #178 – Welcome new rules

Ways to distinguish yourself #178 – Welcome new rules

By Rajesh Setty on Wed 15 Aug 2007, 7:13 AM – 3 Comments

When you were just learning to write the alphabets, all you had to do to get an applause from people around you was to write the alphabets correctly. Those were the rules of the game. When you moved to school, the rules changed almost without notice. You could not get an applause just by reciting or writing the alphabets.

At that time, I don’t think you complained. One reason – nobody in your school (your friends) complained about these new rules.

When you started your work, the rules changed again. There were no “exams” at work at scheduled intervals but every project that you undertook was almost like an exam.

When you moved up in your career, the rules changed again. If you continued to do what you did to get that promotion, it was no longer sufficient to move up to the next level. The rules had changed again. However, unlike a classroom, you didn’t have company of friends that were comfortable and welcoming the new rules. You were left alone to deal with the new rules.

I guess one of the enemies on our path to new success is the set of rules that made us successful in the past. I think the financial people have got it. They say “past performance is not an indicator of future results” along with every report. I guess this is equally applicable in a career setting too.

If you are a knowledge worker and want to progress in your career, it is guaranteed that every “step up” in your career will require you to play the game using the new rules. This looks like change management 101 where you try to “adapt” to change. What I am referring to is slightly different from change management. Rather than “adapt” to change, you need to “welcome” change. You need to welcome the new rules and eagerly wait for them. When you have to “adapt”, it feels like you are doing some “work” or “going the extra mile” to deal with things. When you “welcome the new rules” you are just dealing with what you were expecting to deal with. There is a subtle difference but that small difference is important.

Questions for you to think:

1. What new rules are you welcoming in your current position?

2. In order to “step up” in your career, what new rules should you welcome?


Note: For the other 177 entries in the “Distinguish yourself” series, please visit my Squidoo lens on the same topic
Squidoo Lens: Distinguish yourself


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3 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on August 15th, 2007

This article caught my eye at the right time when i was in a decision making situation. After having worked in an mnc where several divisions were closed down, we were given a new set of rules to perform. We had a choice, either take it up and match up with it, or fret and run away from the opportunity. Guess what we did? for a year we accepted the new rules just to prove a thing or two and it worked!

Again the time came for a decision last month, and I allowed myself a new workplace and a new set of rules, except that the rules I assumed and what I actually had to welcome me in were radically drastically different beyond any imaginations.

Now I am confronted with two companies, two opportunties in different realms technical and managerial, and two new set of rules subsequently. When its just once choice to make its easy. But when its two of them parallely how does one handle it? If I go by your logic, then I will have to think of adapting or welcoming one set of new rules at a time to avoid myself from getting burnt out at work!


Anonymous  on August 15th, 2007

Thanks Rajesh for yet another great one.. I have been following your articles closely and found them very useful. So practical they are.

hassan rochdy  on February 25th, 2008

hi Rajesh,

im hassan from morocco(north of africa), i downold your book about personal branding that i found very interessing not about you wrti but your maner to write it!!! and now i read your articl about changing rules , it’s a very interssing too.

so my english is modest but i think that y’r inderstunding me!!

think you

hassan rochdy

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