John Cleese Presents His 5‑Step Plan for Shorter, More Productive Meetings (1976)

Let’s face it, meet­ings are bor­ing at best and at worst, chaot­ic, volatile, and poten­tial­ly vio­lent. And let’s also face it: to get through life as func­tion­ing adults, we’re going to have to sit through one or two of them — or even one or two of them a week.

Maybe we’re the one who calls the meet­ings, and maybe they all feel like a waste of time. One solu­tion is to have more infor­mal meet­ings. This can be espe­cial­ly tempt­ing in the age of work-from-home, when it’s impos­si­ble to know how many meet­ing atten­dees are wear­ing pants. Few­er rules can raise the spon­tane­ity quo­tient, but allow­ing for the unex­pect­ed can invite dis­as­ter as well as epiphany.

On the oth­er end of the scale, we have the for­mal­i­ty of par­lia­men­tary rules of order, such as those intro­duced by U.S. Army offi­cer Hen­ry Mar­tyn Robert in 1876. Robert, whose father was the first pres­i­dent of More­house Col­lege, gained a wealth of expe­ri­ence with unpro­duc­tive meet­ings as he trav­eled around the coun­try with the Army. One par­tic­u­lar meet­ing became a defin­ing expe­ri­ence, as one account has it:

While in San Fran­cis­co, the local leader of his com­mu­ni­ty didn’t show up for a church meet­ing. Hen­ry Robert was asked to pre­side over the town hall (with­out any pri­or notice). Let’s just say that on this par­tic­u­lar evening in 1876, he did a bad job. An hour into the meet­ing, peo­ple were scream­ing and the church actu­al­ly erupt­ed into open con­flict.

Sad­ly, this sort of thing has become almost rou­tine at town halls and school board meet­ings. But it needn’t be so at the office. Nor, says John Cleese in the brief video above, do meet­ings need to fol­low the for­mal­i­ty of par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure.

Cleese’s rules are sim­pler even than the sim­pli­fied Roberts or Rosen­berg’s Rules of Order, an even more sim­pli­fied ver­sion of Robert’s Rules. Fur­ther­more, Cleese avoids using words like “Rules” which can be a turn-off in our egal­i­tar­i­an times. Instead, he presents us with a “5‑Step Plan” for hold­ing bet­ter and short­er meet­ings.

1. Plan — Clear your mind about the pre­cise objec­tives of the meet­ing. Be clear why you need it and list the sub­jects.
2. Inform — Make sure every­one knows exact­ly what is being dis­cussed, why, and what you want from the dis­cus­sion. Antic­i­pate what infor­ma­tion and peo­ple may be need­ed and make sure they’re there.
3. Pre­pare — Pre­pare the log­i­cal sequence items. Pre­pare the time allo­ca­tion to each item on the basis of its impor­tance not its urgency.
4. Struc­ture and Con­trol — Take the evi­dence stage before the inter­pre­ta­tion stage and that before the action stage and stop peo­ple jump­ing ahead or going back over ground.
5. Sum­ma­rize all deci­sion and record them straight away with the name of the per­son respon­si­ble for any action

Easy, right? Well, maybe not so easy in prac­tice, but these steps can, at the very least, illu­mi­nate what’s wrong with your meet­ings, which may cur­rent­ly resem­ble one of Cleese’s many par­o­dies of busi­ness cul­ture. Nobody video­phoned it in at the time, but try­ing to fig­ure out who’s sup­posed to be doing what can still take up an after­noon. Let Cleese’s five steps bring order to the chaos.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

John Cleese on How “Stu­pid Peo­ple Have No Idea How Stu­pid They Are” (a.k.a. the Dun­ning-Kruger Effect)

John Cleese Revis­its His 20 Years as an Ivy League Pro­fes­sor in His New Book, Pro­fes­sor at Large: The Cor­nell Years

Mon­ty Python’s John Cleese Cre­ates Ads for the Amer­i­can Philo­soph­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion

John Cleese’s Very Favorite Com­e­dy Sketch­es

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Become a Project Manager Without a College Degree with Google’s Project Management Certificate

As we first men­tioned last year, Google has launched a series of Career Cer­tifi­cate pro­grams that allow stu­dents to gain exper­tise in a field, ide­al­ly enough to start work­ing with­out a 4‑year col­lege degree. This ini­tia­tive now includes a Cer­tifi­cate in Project Man­age­ment, which con­sists of six cours­es.

  • Foun­da­tions of Project Man­age­ment
  • Project Ini­ti­a­tion: Start­ing a Suc­cess­ful Project
  • Project Plan­ning: Putting It All Togeth­er
  • Project Exe­cu­tion: Run­ning the Project
  • Agile Project Man­age­ment
  • Cap­stone: Apply­ing Project Man­age­ment in the Real World

Above, a Pro­gram Man­ag­er talks about “her path from drop­ping out of high school and earn­ing a GED, join­ing the mil­i­tary, and work­ing as a coder, to learn­ing about pro­gram man­age­ment and switch­ing into that career track.” An intro­duc­tion to the Project Man­age­ment cer­tifi­cate appears below.

The Project Man­age­ment pro­gram takes about six months to com­plete, and should cost about $250 in total. Stu­dents get charged $39 per month until they com­plete the pro­gram.

You can explore the Project Man­age­ment cer­tifi­cate here. And find oth­er Google career cer­tifi­cates in oth­er fields–e.g. UX Design and Data Ana­lyt­ics–over on this page. All Google career cours­es are host­ed on the Cours­era plat­form.

Find more online cer­tifi­cate pro­grams from an array of providers here.

Note: Open Cul­ture has a part­ner­ship with Cours­era. If read­ers enroll in cer­tain Cours­era cours­es and pro­grams, it helps sup­port Open Cul­ture.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Google Intro­duces 6‑Month Career Cer­tifi­cates, Threat­en­ing to Dis­rupt High­er Edu­ca­tion with “the Equiv­a­lent of a Four-Year Degree”

Google & Cours­era Launch Career Cer­tifi­cates That Pre­pare Stu­dents for Jobs in 6 Months: Data Ana­lyt­ics, Project Man­age­ment and UX Design

Google’s UX Design Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate: 7 Cours­es Will Help Pre­pare Stu­dents for an Entry-Lev­el Job in 6 Months

150 Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es

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Design Thinking for the Greater Good: A Free Online Course from the University of Virginia

Design Think­ing for the Greater Good: Inno­va­tion in the Social Sec­tor shows how and why human-cen­tered design is a pow­er­ful tool. Offered by the Dar­d­en School of Busi­ness at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia, the course lets stu­dents “view design think­ing suc­cess sto­ries from around the world, in areas as diverse as gov­ern­ment, health care, and edu­ca­tion.” Through­out the course, stu­dents will “learn the tools, tech­niques and mind­set need­ed to use design think­ing to uncov­er new and cre­ative solu­tions in the social sec­tor.”

You can take Design Think­ing for the Greater Good for free by select­ing the audit option upon enrolling. If you want to take the course for a cer­tifi­cate, you will need to pay a fee.

Design Think­ing for the Greater Good has been added to our list of Free Busi­ness Cours­es, a sub­set of our col­lec­tion, Design Think­ing for the Greater Good: A Free Online Course from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia.

Relat­ed Con­tent  

A Brief His­to­ry of IDEO: A Short Doc­u­men­tary Takes You Inside the Design Firm That Changed the Way We Think about Design

The Smith­son­ian Design Muse­um Dig­i­tizes 200,000 Objects, Giv­ing You Access to 3,000 Years of Design Inno­va­tion & His­to­ry

The Let­ter­form Archive Launch­es a New Online Archive of Graph­ic Design, Fea­tur­ing 9,000 Hi-Fi Images

Startup School: Take YCombinator’s Free Online Course for Current & Aspiring Entrepreneurs

If you’re work­ing on a start­up, take note. YCombi­na­tor–a well-known Sil­i­con Val­ley accelerator–has cre­at­ed Start­up School, a free online pro­gram for entre­pre­neurs. The school has a track for cur­rent start­up founders, and anoth­er one for aspiring/eventual founders. In each case, the school strives to offer the best lessons and advice on how to start a start­up, while build­ing “a com­mu­ni­ty of entre­pre­neurs who can encour­age, teach and sup­port one anoth­er.” Start­up School is com­plete­ly free. You just need a device with access to the inter­net. View the cur­ricu­lum here. (Top­ics include every­thing from “How to Get Start Up Ideas” and “How to Pitch a Start­up,” to “How to Find the Right Co-Founder” and “How to Split Equi­ty.”) And sign up here.

This course will be added to our list, Start­up School: Take YCombi­na­tor’s Free Online Course for Cur­rent & Aspir­ing Entre­pre­neurs.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How to Start a Start-Up: A Free Online Course from Y Com­bi­na­tor Taught at Stan­ford

150 Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es

Entre­pre­neur­ship Through the Lens of Ven­ture Cap­i­tal: A Free Online Course from Stan­ford

Ray Dalio & Adam Grant Launch Free Online Personality Assessment to Help You Understand Yourself (and Others Understand You)

Back in 2017, Ray Dalio pub­lished Prin­ci­ples: Life and Work, a best­selling book where the cre­ator of the world’s largest hedge fund shared “the uncon­ven­tion­al prin­ci­ples that he’s devel­oped, refined, and used over the past forty years to cre­ate unique results in both life and busi­ness.” You can find a dis­tilled ver­sion of those uncon­ven­tion­al prin­ci­ples in a 30-minute ani­ma­tion video pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured on our site.

To accom­pa­ny his book, Dalio has now released, along with Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia orga­ni­za­tion­al psy­chol­o­gist Adam Grant, a free per­son­al­i­ty assess­ment tool called Prin­ci­plesY­ou. The assess­ment takes about 30 to 40 min­utes to com­plete, and we would strong­ly encour­age you to sign up for an account before you get start­ed, so that you can save the results of the assess­ment after­wards. Oth­er­wise you will lose the results.

Accord­ing to psy­chol­o­gist Bri­an Lit­tle, “Prin­ci­plesY­ou was devel­oped over a two-year inten­sive and cre­ative R&D process with two goals in mind. First, it mea­sures traits that Ray Dalio and his team have observed and stud­ied for many years as crit­i­cal for per­son­al and orga­ni­za­tion­al suc­cess. Sec­ond, it is based on the lat­est research in per­son­al­i­ty sci­ence. The assess­ment pro­vides a person’s score on a com­pre­hen­sive set of traits, their under­ly­ing facets and inter­ac­tive pat­terns, and it has high reli­a­bil­i­ty, inter­nal struc­ture, re-test reli­a­bil­i­ty and valid­i­ty of these traits and facets. A dis­tinc­tive strength is its abil­i­ty to pre­dict an extra­or­di­nary array of actu­al behav­iors observed by the Bridge­wa­ter staff over many years.”

Adam Grant adds: “To achieve suc­cess, you need to know your­self and the peo­ple around you. Although your car comes with an owner’s man­u­al, your mind doesn’t—and nei­ther do your col­leagues. We designed Prin­ci­plesY­ou to help you gain the self-aware­ness and oth­er-aware­ness that are crit­i­cal to mak­ing good deci­sions, get­ting things done, and turn­ing a group of cowork­ers into a great team.”

You can watch Grant and Dalio dis­cuss Prin­ci­plesY­ou above. You can lis­ten to Grant fea­ture Dalio’s insights on his Work Life pod­cast here. And final­ly you can start the free per­son­al­i­ty assess­ment here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Online Psy­chol­o­gy & Neu­ro­science Cours­es

The Prin­ci­ples for Suc­cess by Entre­pre­neur & Investor Ray Dalio: A 30-Minute Ani­mat­ed Primer

Eco­nom­ics 101: Hedge Fund Investor Ray Dalio Explains How the Econ­o­my Works in a 30-Minute Ani­mat­ed Video

How to Raise Cre­ative Chil­dren Who Can Change the World: 3 Lessons from Whar­ton Pro­fes­sor Adam Grant


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IKEA Digitizes & Puts Online 70 Years of Its Catalogs: Explore the Designs of the Swedish Furniture Giant

The time­less mod­ernism of the IKEA cat­a­log, its promise of tidi­ness, clean, eco­nom­i­cal lines, and excel­lent val­ue belie a strug­gle ahead, an ordeal cus­tomers of the glob­al Swedish build-it-your­self jug­ger­naut know too well. Will the bulky, major­ly-incon­ve­nient­ly shaped box­es fit in the car? Will the rebus-like instruc­tions make sense? Will we assem­ble a bed with love and care, only to find our­selves in a pile of its bro­ken parts come morn­ing?

Clear­ly out­weigh­ing such tragedies are the many hap­py mem­o­ries we asso­ciate with buy­ing, build­ing, and liv­ing with IKEA prod­ucts. The com­pa­ny itself has built such mem­o­ries over the course of almost eight decades with an empire of Scan­di­na­vian design super­mar­kets.

“As of 2019,” Marie Pati­no writes at City­Lab, “IKEA boasts 433 stores across 53 coun­tries.” The IKEA cat­a­log is as wide­ly cir­cu­lat­ed as the Bible and Quran. The Swedish com­pa­ny with the quirk­i­ly named prod­ucts and leg­endary cafe­te­ria meat­balls defines fur­ni­ture shop­ping.

The lay­out of IKEA’s show­rooms may turn “retail into retail ther­a­py,” with cor­ri­dors filled with mono­chro­mat­ic visions of clut­ter-free liv­ing. In these times, of course, we’re far more like­ly to take refuge in those ven­er­a­ble cat­a­logs or the company’s always-improv­ing web­site. Now we can do both at once with a trip through sev­en decades of IKEA cat­a­logs, uploaded to the web­site for the 70th anniver­sary of the first 1950 release.

1951 “marked the first prop­er IKEA cat­a­log,” writes Pati­no, as well as the first icon­ic cov­er fea­tur­ing the first icon­ic design, the MK wing chair. Cov­ers became more elab­o­rate, with smooth mid-cen­tu­ry mod­ern liv­ing room lay­outs that tan­ta­lized, but the con­tents of the cat­a­log looked like gov­ern­ment order forms until the late 60s and 70s. It did not appear in Eng­lish until 1985. In these ear­ly lay­outs we can see just how dat­ed so many of these designs appear in hind­sight.

The company’s sig­na­ture busi­ness mod­el came togeth­er slow­ly at first. It start­ed in 1943, found­ed by Ing­var Kam­prad in Swe­den, as a mail-order busi­ness for sta­tion­ary sup­plies. The fur­ni­ture arrived soon after, but it would take anoth­er decade or so for the flat-pack idea to ful­ly emerge. The BILLY book­shelf, per­haps the most pop­u­lar IKEA design ever, debuted in 1979. Oth­er sta­ples fol­lowed, and in 2013, the orig­i­nal wing­back chair made a mod­i­fied come­back as the STRANDMON. Through it all, the cat­a­log has doc­u­ment­ed Swedish design trends in a glob­al mar­ket­place.,

The 21st cen­tu­ry has seen not only the return of the wing­back but of the mid-cen­tu­ry Scan­di­na­vian mod­ernism with which the com­pa­ny made its name in the 1950s and 60s. Maybe that’s why it’s easy to think of IKEA as con­sis­tent­ly embody­ing this trend, slight­ly updat­ed every few years. But brows­ing through these cat­a­logs shows how thor­ough­ly IKEA absorbed all sorts of Euro­pean influences—as well as the look of hotel room fur­ni­ture from Mia­mi Vice.

What kind of ther­a­py is this? Gaz­ing at dat­ed or retro-hip prod­ucts we are years too late to buy? It offers the same expe­ri­ence as all IKEA cat­a­log shopping—without the strug­gle and expense of trans­port­ing and assem­bling the results: the dis­trac­tion of a world with­out dis­trac­tions. Explore the new archive of IKEA cat­a­logs here.

via Bloomberg and Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Mas­sive Har­rods Cat­a­logue from 1912 Gets Dig­i­tized: Before Ama­zon, Har­rods Offered “Every­thing for Every­one, Every­where”

The Bauhaus Book­shelf: Down­load Orig­i­nal Bauhaus Books, Jour­nals, Man­i­festos & Ads That Still Inspire Design­ers World­wide

Meet the Mem­phis Group, the Bob Dylan-Inspired Design­ers of David Bowie’s Favorite Fur­ni­ture

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

The Massive Harrods Catalogue from 1912 Gets Digitized: Before Amazon, Harrods Offered “Everything for Everyone, Everywhere”

A cou­ple years ago, obit­u­ar­ies began appear­ing online for the depart­ment store Sears after the 130-year-old Amer­i­can com­pa­ny announced its bank­rupt­cy. Many of the trib­utes focused on Sears, Roe­buck & Co’s cat­a­log, and for good rea­son. Their mas­sive mail-order busi­ness, the Ama­zon of its day, trans­formed the U.S., sell­ing gui­tars to Delta blues and rock and roll musi­cians and ship­ping thou­sands of build-it-your­self hous­es to rur­al home­stead­ers and sub­ur­ban­ites. The sheer reach and scope of the Sears’ cat­a­log can seem over­whelm­ing…. That is, until we turn to the 1912 Har­rods for Every­thing.

This 1,525-page cat­a­logue from London’s world-famous depart­ment store, Har­rods, does seem to mean every­thing, with over 15,000 prod­ucts avail­able for pur­chase at the store’s loca­tion, by mail, or by phone (“any­thing, at any time, day or night”).

You can see the enor­mous mon­u­ment to com­merce for your­self at Project Guten­berg. The cat­a­logue took 13 years to scan. “Some idea of the vast quan­ti­ty of items that Har­rods stocked or had avail­able can be tak­en from the gen­er­al index,” notes Eric Hut­ton, one of the vol­un­teer edi­tors on the project, “which runs for 68 pages, five columns to a page.”

Men and women could order cus­tom-tai­lored cloth­ing, fine jew­el­ry, clocks, watch­es, fur­ni­ture. Nat­u­ral­ists and hunters could have their tro­phies dressed and mount­ed. Police­men and, well, any­one, could order pis­tols, “knuck­le dusters,” and hand­cuffs. “You could also hire bands or musi­cians, plus tents or mar­quees for out­door gath­er­ings. You could rent steam, elec­tric, or petrol launch­es to go down a riv­er, or, if you set your sights fur­ther afield, there were ‘explor­ing, sci­en­tif­ic and shoot­ing expe­di­tions… com­plete­ly equipped and pro­vi­sioned for any part of the world”… per­haps the Edwar­dian British ver­sion of the Sears House.

A MetaFil­ter user points out how much glob­al­iza­tion and empire play into the mar­ket­ing. These are “not just lux­u­ry goods but com­modi­ties. I noticed wheat could come from at least three con­ti­nents…. Over and over it explains how Har­rods will out­fit any­one abroad who needs a social or mil­i­tary or explorato­ry uni­form: tele­graph Har­rods for shoe buck­les appro­pri­ate to your sta­tions.” Har­rods also repeat­ed­ly empha­sizes they will ship any­where in the world. Colo­nial offi­cials in India or Ugan­da could live like kings. We must con­fess, we doubt this mer­chan­dise was tru­ly meant for every­one.

This was also a time when mir­a­cle cures and var­i­ous unsci­en­tif­ic treat­ments abound­ed. “You could buy things like chlo­ro­form or throat pastilles in dozens of vari­eties,” notes Hut­ton, “even those con­tain­ing cocaine!”

A few of the com­modi­ties fea­tured in Har­rods for Every­thing are a lot hard­er to come by these days. Some of them, like the pages of guns, are easy to get in the US but not so read­i­ly avail­able in the UK and many of its for­mer colonies. (Though you can find cat­a­logues for just about any­thing if you look hard enough.)

But aside from cer­tain obvi­ous his­tor­i­cal dif­fer­ences, the cat­a­logue isn’t that much dif­fer­ent from the pages of online retail­ers who will also sell you almost any­thing, at any time of day, and ship it to you any­where in the world. What we thought of as unprece­dent­ed inno­va­tion was com­mon­place in the days of Queen Vic­to­ria, only ship­ping took a lot longer. Har­rods’ uni­ver­sal­iz­ing Latin mot­to even sounds par­tic­u­lar­ly mod­ern, in Eng­lish, at least: Omnia Omnibus Ubique, or “every­thing for every­one, every­where.” Yet much, too, has changed. Har­rods, out­fit­ter of the British Empire, is now owned by the state of Qatar.

See the ful­ly scanned 1,525-page Har­rods for Every­thing cat­a­logue at Project Guten­berg.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sears Sold 75,000 DIY Mail Order Homes Between 1908 and 1939, and Trans­formed Amer­i­can Life

How the Sears Cat­a­log Dis­rupt­ed the Jim Crow South and Helped Give Birth to the Delta Blues & Rock and Roll

What It Cost to Shop at the Gro­cery Store in 1836, and What Goods You Could Buy

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

10 Rules of Self Discipline from the 1930 Self Help/Business Guru Napoleon Hill

It seems ridicu­lous to refer to the Gold­en Rule as a “weapon,” but that is just what it is—a weapon that no resis­tance on earth can with­stand! —Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hillwhose ear­ly books The Law of Suc­cess (1928), The Mag­ic Lad­der To Suc­cess (1930), and Think and Grow Rich (1937) helped estab­lish the self-help genrewould be con­sid­ered a life coach or moti­va­tion­al speak­er in today’s par­lance.

And were he alive today, he’d like­ly he’d be fac­ing charges, or at the very least, can­celled for some of the behav­iors, schemes, and whop­pers Matt Novak details in an exhaus­tive­ly researched essay for Gizmodo’s Pale­o­fu­ture blog.

We think it’s impor­tant to tip you off to that shady side, because Hill’s “10 Rules for Prof­itable Self Dis­ci­pline,” above, are so sun­ny, they could spur you to dis­sem­i­nate them imme­di­ate­ly, leav­ing you vul­ner­a­ble to harsh words from bet­ter informed friends and, more cru­cial­ly, social media fol­low­ers, who are already het up about any num­ber of things in this elec­tion year, and who enjoy the cathar­sis a good call out affords.

Ergo, if you’re inclined to share, inves­ti­gate the well from which they sprung, and then decide whether or not you want to pro­ceed.

Why did we pro­ceed?

Because prac­ticed with the purest of inten­tions, these rules con­sti­tute extreme­ly human­is­tic advice from a man whose out­ward phi­los­o­phy con­tin­ues to be a touch­stone for many in the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty.

And as evi­denced by the com­ments left by grate­ful YouTube view­ers, many of whom stum­bled across his words by acci­dent, peo­ple are thirsty for such explic­it­ly pos­i­tive guide­posts to inter­per­son­al deal­ings.

(A good num­ber also seem quite tak­en with the Vir­ginia native’s old timey speech pat­terns and vin­tage lin­go.)

If noth­ing else, apply­ing these rules could sweet­en your next argu­ment with some­one you love, or serve as inspi­ra­tion if you’re ever called upon to give a com­mence­ment speech:

Napoleon Hill’s 10 Rules for Prof­itable Self Dis­ci­pline

  1. Keep a cool head around hot heads. Rage doesn’t have to be con­ta­gious,.
  2. Believe that there are three sides to every argu­ment. If you’re in a dust-up, don’t assume that the fault lays with the oth­er per­son, but rather that you both shoul­der a por­tion of the blame. This is a pret­ty com­pas­sion­ate way of ensur­ing that everyone’s ass will be par­tial­ly cov­ered for both bet­ter and worse.
  3. Nev­er give direc­tives to a sub­or­di­nate when you are angry. Giv­en that swift and deci­sive action is often required of those in lead­er­ship posi­tions, you’ll have to learn to ice your own hot head pret­ty quick­ly to put this one into con­sis­tent play.
  4. Treat every­one as if they were a rich rel­a­tive who might leave you a siz­able inher­i­tance. Which is kind of a gross way of putting it, but oth­er­wise, we agree with Napoleon Hill that treat­ing oth­ers with respect and lov­ing atten­tion is a real “hon­ey” of a con­cept, espe­cial­ly if the oth­er per­son can offer lit­tle beyond their friend­ship.
  5. When you find your­self in an unpleas­ant cir­cum­stance, imme­di­ate­ly start search­ing for the seed of an equiv­a­lent ben­e­fit with­in the expe­ri­ence. If Novak’s Giz­mo­do essay is any indi­ca­tion, Hill prob­a­bly had a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ty to put this one into prac­tice, squeez­ing lemon­ade from lemons of his own mak­ing.
  6. Ask ques­tions and lis­ten to the answer. If you find your­self inclined to dis­agree with a state­ment, employ the phrase, “How do you know?” to get the speak­er to do all the heavy lift­ing. For exam­ple, Napoleon Hill might say to Matt Novak, “How do you know?” which would be Matt Novak’s cue to pro­duce a moun­tain of doc­u­men­ta­tion.
  7. Nev­er say or do any­thing before think­ing if it will ben­e­fit some­one or hurt them. The goal is to refrain from hurt­ing oth­ers. Let those of us are with­out sin cast the first stone here. Hill’s karmic spin on this rule is that any injuries you cause that don’t imme­di­ate­ly come around to bite you in the ass, will bite you in the ass much hard­er at some future point, a la com­pound inter­est.
  8. Learn the dif­fer­ence between friend­ly analy­sis and unfriend­ly crit­i­cisms. His not entire­ly fool­proof method for dis­tin­guish­ing intent is to con­sid­er the nature of your rela­tion­ship with the one offer­ing the obser­va­tions, their tone of voice, man­ner of deliv­ery, and some­what quaint­ly, whether or not they throw in any epi­thets. If it’s friend­ly, you can set some store by it. Oth­er­wise, dis­re­gard.
  9. A good leader knows how to take orders cheer­ful­ly. This pairs nice­ly with Rule Num­ber 3, don’t you think?
  10. Be tol­er­ant of your fel­low humans. Always.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

What Are the Keys to Hap­pi­ness?: Take “The Sci­ence of Well-Being,” a Free Online Ver­sion of Yale’s Most Pop­u­lar Course

How Much Mon­ey Do You Need to Be Hap­py? A New Study Gives Us Some Exact Fig­ures

Har­vard Course on Pos­i­tive Psy­chol­o­gy: Watch 30 Lec­tures from the University’s Extreme­ly Pop­u­lar Course

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Join Ayun’s com­pa­ny The­ater of the Apes in New York City  for her book-based vari­ety series, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain, and the world pre­miere of Greg Kotis’ new musi­cal, I AM NOBODY (March 5 — 28) Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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