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The Rules of Work, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Personal Success (Richard Templar's Rules) Paperback – July 2, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0137072064 ISBN-10: 0137072066 Edition: 1st

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The Rules of Work, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Personal Success (Richard Templar's Rules) + The Rules of Management, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Managerial Success (Richard Templar's Rules) + The Rules of Life, Expanded Edition: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful Life (Richard Templar's Rules)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Templar is an astute observer of human behavior and understands what makes the difference between those of us who effortlessly glide towards success and those of us who struggle against the tide. He has distilled these observations into his Rules titles. More than 1 million people around the world have enjoyed and now play by Richard Templar's Rules.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

Introduction

I first started formulating The Rules of Work many, many years ago when I was an assistant manager. There was a promotion going for the next step up—manager. There were two possible candidates, myself and Rob. On paper I had more experience, more expertise, most of the staff wanted me as their manager, and I generally knew the new job better. Rob, to be honest, was useless.

I was chatting with an outside consultant the company used and asked him what he thought my chances were. “Slim,” he replied. I was indignant. I explained all about my experience, my expertise, my superior abilities. “Yep,” he replied, “but you don’t walk like a manager.” “And Rob does?” “Yep, that’s about the strength of it.” Needless to say he was quite right, and Rob got the job. I had to work under a moron. But a moron who walked right. I studied that walk very carefully.

The consultant was spot on—there was a manager’s walk. I began to notice that every employee, every job, everyone in fact, had their walk. Receptionists walked in a particular way, as did the cashiers, the catering staff, the office workers, the admin, the security staff—and the managers, of course. Secretly, I began to practice the walk.

Looking the Part

As I spent a lot of time watching the walk, I realized that there was also a manager’s style of attire, of speaking, of behavior. It wasn’t enough that I was good at my job and had the experience. I had to look as if I was better than anyone else. It wasn’t just a walk—it was an entire makeover. And gradually, as I watched, I noticed that what newspaper was read was important, as was what pen was used, how you wrote, how you talked to colleagues, what you said at meetings—everything, in fact, was being judged, evaluated, acted upon. It wasn’t enough to be able to do the job. If you wanted to get on, you had to be seen to be the Right Type. The Rules of Work is about creating that type—of course, you’ve got to be able to do the job in the first place. But a lot of people can do that. What makes you stand out? What makes you a suitable candidate for promotion? What makes the difference?

Act One Step Ahead

I noticed that among the managers there were some who had mastered the walk, but there were others who were practicing, unconsciously, for the next walk—the general manager’s walk.

I happened at that time to be travelling around a lot between different branches and noticed that among the general managers there were some who were going to stay right where they were for a long time. But there were others already practicing for their next step ahead—the regional director’s walk. And style and image.

I switched from practicing the manager’s walk and leapt ahead to the general manager’s walk. Three months later I was promoted from assistant manager to general manager in one swift move. I was now the moron’s manager.

Walk Your Talk

Rob had the walk (Rule 18: Develop a Style That Gets You Noticed), but unfortunately he didn’t adhere sufficiently to the number one rule—he didn’t know the job well enough. He looked right, sounded right, but the bottom line was—he couldn’t do the job as well as he should have done. I was brought in over his head because they couldn’t sack him— having just promoted him it would have looked bad—and they needed someone to oversee his work so that his errors could be rectified quickly. Rob had reached the level of his own incompetence and stayed there for several years neither improving nor particularly getting worse—just looking good and walking right. He eventually shuffled himself off sideways into running his own business—a restaurant. This failed shortly afterward because he forgot Rule 2: Never Stand Still— or maybe he never actually knew it. He carried on walking like a manager instead of a restaurateur. His customers never really took to him.

By practicing the general manager’s walk, I got the promotion, but I also got it because I paid great attention to doing my job well—Rule 1. Once in this new job I was, of course, completely out of my depth. I had to quickly learn not only my new role and all its responsibilities, but also the position below, which I had not really held. I had stood in for managers but I had never been a manager—now I was the manager’s manager. I was in great danger of falling flat on my face.

Never Let Anyone Know How Hard You Work

But I was, by now, a dedicated Rules Player. There was only one recourse—secret learning. I spent every spare second available—evenings, weekends, lunch breaks—studying everything I could that would help me. But I told no one— Rule 13.

Within a short time I had mastered enough to be able to do the job well enough. And the embryonic Rules of Work were born.

Have a plan

Being a general manager was both fun and pain. It was 50 percent more work but only 20 percent more pay. My next step, logically, was regional director. But it didn’t appeal. More work—much more work but for not that much more money. I began to develop a plan (Rules 24–34). Where did I want to go next? What did I want to do? I was getting bored being stuck in the office all the time and all those endless dreary meetings. And all that time spent at head office. Not for me. I wanted to have fun again. I wanted to practice the Rules. I formulated my plan.

What the company didn’t have was a roving troubleshooter—a sort of general manager’s general manager. I put Rule 4: Carve Out a Niche for Yourself into play. I suggested to the chairman that a report was needed. I never suggested that this was the job I wanted, but the agenda was obvious, I suppose. I got it, of course, and became a peripatetic general manager, answerable directly only to the chairman and with a job description I wrote myself. And pay? A lot more than the regional directors were on, but they didn’t know and I didn’t let on (Part V: Look After Yourself). I cultivated their support and friendship; I was never a threat because it was obvious I wasn’t after their job. They may have wanted the money I was making if they had known, but they didn’t want the little niche I had carved out for myself.

And I did this without being ruthless, dishonest, or unpleasant. In fact, I was always diplomatic when dealing with the general managers. I treated them with courtesy and politeness, even when I had to confront them on some aspect of their job. I added If you can’t say anything nice—shut up and learned the rules in Part VIII: Cultivate Diplomacy.

Knowing the People Who Count

And I quickly learned that if I wanted to know what was going on in a branch, it was best to speak to the people who really knew—the maintenence staff, the receptionists, the cashiers, the elevator attendant, and the drivers. It was important both to identify these people and to be on the right side of them— Rule 94. They supplied me with more information than anyone would have believed—and all for the price of a simple “Hello Bob, how’s your daughter doing at college these days?”

The Rules of Work took shape. Over the next few years I watched them grow up and gain maturity and experience. I left the corporation and founded my own consultancy. I trained managers in The Rules of Work and watched them go out into the world and conquer their destiny with charm and courtesy, confidence and authority.

But I see you have questions. How do these Rules work—are they manipulative? No, you don’t make anyone else do anything; it is you that is changing and improving.

  • Do I have to become someone else? No, you may need to change your behavior a bit, but not your personality or values.You’ll go on being you, but a slicker, quicker you, a more successful you.
  • Are they hard to learn? No, you can learn them in a week or two—but it does take a long time to really master them. But we are learning all the time and even practicing one Rule is better than none at all.
  • Is it easy to spot others doing them? Yes, sometimes, but the really good Rules Players will never let you see what they are doing; they’re too good for that. But once you become a Rules Player too, it does become easier to see what Rule people are using at any particular time.
  • Will I notice benefits right away? Oh yes, you betcha—immediately.
  • Do I still do them? I wouldn’t even admit to doing them in the first place—I’m a Rules Player after all.
  • Is it ethical to use the Rules? Yes. You aren’t doing anything wrong, merely utilizing your own natural skills and talents and adapting them, using them consciously. This is a key area for understanding the Rules—consciously. Everything you do will have been decided beforehand— you’ll still appear spontaneous, of course, you decided that as well—but you will be a conscious controller of any situation rather than an unconscious victim. You will be awake and aware, living in the moment and taking advantage of your own abilities. The bottom line is that you must be able to do your job—and do it well in the first place. The Rules are not for slackers. You think you work hard now? It’s nothing to doing the Rules successfully—now that really does take work.

And let’s face it, you love to work. You love doing your job. You have to, to be wanting to read the Rules and to want to be moving up. What I am suggesting is that you consciously think about every area of that work and make changes to improve

  • The way you do it
  • How people perceive you to be doing it

If you don’t practice the Rules, you will muddle along, get by, maybe find what it is you are looking for. You may already know a lot of these Rules—and be practicing them— instinctively and intuitively. Now we will do them consciously. If you do you will

  • Get promoted
  • Get along better with your colleagues
  • Feel better about yourself
  • Enjoy your work more
  • Understand your job better
  • Understand your boss’s point of view better
  • Take more pride in both yourself and your work
  • Set a good example for junior staff
  • Contribute more to your company
  • Be valued and respected
  • Spread an aura of goodwill and cooperation around you
  • Be successful if you leave to start your own business.

These Rules are simple and effective, safe and practical. They are your 10 steps to building confidence and creating a new and more powerful you. And building that new you morally and ethically. You aren’t going to do anything that you would-n’t expect—and appreciate—others doing to you. These Rules enhance personal standards and elevate your individual principles. They are my gift to you. They’re yours. Keep them safe, keep them secret.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Series: Richard Templar's Rules
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (July 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137072066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137072064
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Templar is an astute observer of human behavior and understands what makes the difference between those of us who effortlessly glide towards success and those of us who struggle against the tide. He has distilled these observations into his Rules titles. More than 1 million people around the world have enjoyed and now play by Richard Templar's Rules.

Customer Reviews

This book was very easy to read.
deb johns
Mostly, it seems that this book advises you to just try to fit in and work hard, which is certainly good advice, just nothing earth-shattering.
Phil Taylor
For anyone in the work place this is a great book to read over and over again.
Lauren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. White on October 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The format of the book The Rules of Work is nicely laid out and the flow from the first rule to the last makes common sense. You build one habit on top of the other to fashion yourself into a professional level employee. After all, how can anyone really argue against presenting a clean and polished appearance?
While I'm working, I adhere to many of these rules myself and while I am not at the moment trying to make it to the top of the corporate ladder (maybe after the kids are in school full time), I do notice that certain managers choose me for project work over peers who are dressed more casually or truly gossip more. What is also interesting is that I have begun doing some of these things in my personal time too. I no longer dress in sweats on my days off, but make sure I look tidy. It has actually brought me into contact with some potential future job opportunities because people notice now that may have dismissed me before.

This brings me to the one point of the book that I didn't like very much, but is a fact of life that one does have to swallow. The rules are all about presenting an exterior that can be superficial. Truthfully though, the world, especially the working world is largely based on superficial impressions. If you look or dress slovenly, people imagine your work to be that way. If you dress sharply and neatly, people perceive you to be on top of your game and organized.

This is a good basic book of rules for most professional areas of work. It might not apply at Google as another reviewer mentioned, but we can't all work at Google, and this provides guidelines for getting ahead where we do.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Otto Correct TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While containing a few good reminders that make for a more likable work environment (Don't swear, Don't moan, etc), many of these tips are easier said than done.

To obey the "Rules Of Work" you have to be a guy who never complains, always works really hard all the time, is always put together, stylish, well groomed, and never EVER makes mistakes. That's all well and good, but let's face it, half the "Don'ts" in this book aren't really the kind of things you do on purpose, and half the "Do's" in this book are things you either know already, or are character traits that aren't nearly as easy to turn around as this guy makes them sound. The rest is just stuff to make you fit in, which is pretty shallow and cheap, honestly.

So the book has some genuinely nice ideas, but mostly its a big bunch of shameless tips on social conformity and things that are easy to say but hard to do.

Pretty disappointing, overall.
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82 of 105 people found the following review helpful By R. Eye on August 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a book about how to manipulate and maneuver among interpersonal relationships in the workplace. I would not like to follow the guidelines in this book because I wouldn't like to work with others who did. Basically, the author recommends that workers employ lip service instead of resisting a bad idea or summoning up plain old dissension with the boss/upper management. While this might lead you down the path to classic brown-nosing, it may be useful if all you care about is keeping your job and not locking horns. I agree that there can be impossible egos in the workplace, however, one is free to seek employment elsewhere when faced with a gargoyle replete-with-fangs supervisor. Such objectionable management should be drummed out of leadership roles. Better yet, I fancy the notion of strategy and solidarity to get the gargoyle boss fired.

The authors would have one present him/herself as a well groomed, on time, diligent, patient, reliable employee and by following all these tenets, the author believes that the worker will rise to the top of the workplace ladder. The problem with the author's advice is that it leaves no room for the trendsetters who pioneered flex-time, job-sharing, or working from home. If everyone followed the author's philosophy, I would still be required to wear a dress to high school that was no shorter than the bottom of my kneecaps. I probably wouldn't be able to vote. I certainly would be relegated to a typing pool. This advice also leaves no room for the spirit of entrepreneurship, original thinking, fun at work, and every Google millionaire grunt with baggy jeans, long frizzy hair, and free snacks all over the desk. Everyone knows that if you want to be average, follow the rules for average folk (this book). If you want to be you (spectacular), don't follow - lead.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robin on August 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you are an experienced professional looking for a way to give some good advice to a relatively inexperienced colleague, the Table of Contents in The Rules of Work is probably going to "wow" you. I know it wowed me, because it covers many, many things that people need to learn when they first enter the workforce. Knowing how to fit in, knowing how to be one jump ahead on your work, knowing not to gossip and not to complain are all areas where work is significantly different from school.

Unfortunately the execution of the book is fair to poor. On any given topic the author has provided a bland, know-it-all kind of statement, on issues that can be truely challenging for the uninitiated. For example, on the topic of "Never Disapprove of Others" the author instructs the reader not to openly disapprove of things like peers drinking at lunch. Okay, that's probably good advice. But what about situations where not going along puts you in the dog house with your co-workers? How does the savvy professional deal with an office culture of drinking at work--or even of covering up mistakes? Integrity is seldom as simple as this author makes it sound.

Although the advice is good, the explanations and advice are not backed up with research. What is worse, the author repeatedly uses himself as an example of how to do just about everything. Unfortunately the author is not familiar with the Rule of Work that says
when managing or advising, NEVER use yourself as the example of ideal behavior. Not only does it indicate you have no independent knowledge of the topic, it makes you sound like a stuffed shirt.

The Table of Contents really is outstanding though
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