Six Company Rules That Were Made to Be Broken

Rules are there for a reason, and most of the time they’re worth following—to preserve the greater good and to keep yourself out of trouble. But there are some rules that you absolutely have to break if you want to succeed.

Ask yourself if any of the following rules are keeping you playing small. If so, start breaking them right away, and keep breaking them every chance you get.

It’s how we’ve always done it. Technologies eventually become obsolete and so do methodologies. If you’ve found a better way to do something, breaking out of the usual routine is the way to go.

You don’t have the authority. If you have ideas on how to change processes, how to streamline systems, how to make things easier, do everything you can to show your boss and coworkers what’s possible. It’s not the time to hold back.

Stick to your strengths. Good people grow best when put in positions outside their knowledge base, so if anyone is keeping you stuck and having you repeat what you already know, break the rule and show them you can be more.

Don’t be concerned about values. What happens when the people in a company fail to live up to its values? In those situations it is important to break the rules and lead by example by living up to those values yourself. Many organizations do a great job of coming up with philosophies and principles, but it is often hard to see how they live up to those values on a day-to-day basis—especially when they come into conflict with the bottom line.

Don’t change your approach to leadership When old habits don’t serve you anymore because you have developed and grown as a persona and a leader, then you may need to bend the rules or break them to show them what can work better—or to demonstrate that the old ways don’t work at all.

Don’t follow up on concerns. Some organizations discourage employees from expressing any concerns, and some encourage people to speak up but lack the willingness to change anything. If you’ve voiced a concern, try to find out if anyone is actually doing anything about it. If not, it’s time to escalate your concern further up the org chart—or, if the matter is serious, take it to someone outside the organization. You don’t have be a victim. Instead, aim to be a victor and use your voice when it’s needed.

The world is changing fast, and your organization has to keep pace. Don’t feel alone as you work to pull your leadership team into the 21st century. There are millions of other people doing the same thing, and sometimes the best way to get it done is by breaking the rules one at a time.

Lead from within: There is a time to make rules and a time to break them. Know the difference and take action. Why? Because the best leaders always do.


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The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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