5 New Rules for the 2020’s

5 New Rules for the 2020’s

by Sid Raisch

New rules about what we do and how we do them have emerged going into this new decade.

There may or may not be a new normal, here or coming. How we approach life, may be changing as much as how we live it. Why is everyone waiting for a normal anyway?


Rules are not principles. Gravity is a principle. Rules are like the white dashes down the road of life that keep us in our lane, and the double yellow lines and guardrails of life that keep us from going head-on into danger and from going over the cliffs of reality. The road we’re on is further from the straight and narrow than before, and it's getting twisty baby. Pay attention to the rules to keep from hitting the trees or going over the cliffs.

[image: "Tail of the Dragon" Hwy 129, North Carolina/Tennssee... 318 curves in 11 miles]

Rule #1 –  Think TOGETHER, or it is counterproductive.
“. . . an age-old principle: That you can change your life, that I can change mine and that together we can change the world around us.” ~ Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Companies that have engaged in a participative decision process have fared much better through COVID-19 than others. Expectations of employees are decidedly focused on participative collaboration – thinking about and discussing big picture ideas and complex reasoning openly. Ownership, management, supervision, back office, and front line must now come together to provide cross-directed leadership that transcends status and position.

It’s no longer what you think about, or what you think about what you think about – it’s now about how you think about what you think about. Thinking through the things we think about together is essential to get broad understanding and acceptance of decisions. Think on this thing you’ve just read and pull your people together to think about the things you must think about in unison.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

If you are not “feeling it” the way of this statement, consider re-thinking with a broader view of who you should be thinking with.   

Rule #2 –  You “GET TO.”

You get to take on the attitude that you “GET TO”, rather than “HAVE TO” do things differently, or that you haven’t done before, and if what you’ve been doing isn’t the one thing you’re very best at, it should be that which you get to do.

You don’t “have to” do anything, period. You can settle for continuing to do what you’ve been doing, riding the rising tide that lifts all boats, or going down with it. You may have the chance to “GET TO” do something new or different if you want to go further, faster, or in a different direction than you have been going.

Rule #3 –  Do only ONE thing.

Louis Pasteaur is quoted to have said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” He’s right, of course, and here’s the rest of the context.

Chance most favors the single-focused person who is doing the ONE THING they are best at to do the ONE thing that is the most important thing they could do. Read this section over several times and come to grips with it. If I could say it in a simpler way I would have. Use your own greatest personal strength, and ONLY that one to do the ONE most important thing that needs to be done, and work with others to get the other things done, or leave them wait.

You don’t have to do everything – in fact, you can’t. Many owners and managers struggle with delegation and that needs to be left in the past anyway. There’s good news that now and in the future delegating has been replaced with coordinating, connecting, and cooperating to lean-in and LEAD into the future.

By definition, if you have more than one priority, you are not focused. Chance favors the single-focused. There is certainly more than one most important priority in your company. If everyone is doing the ONE thing they’re best at to tackle ONE other highest priority thing that needs to be done we will be more effective and productive together achieving much greater results.

We can do something exceedingly well as long as we’re doing only that one thing that we are very best at doing and are getting even better at because we are laser focused on doing so. When we have used our one greatest strength to move our one chosen initiative to where we want it, we can choose one other to focus on next.

Rule #4 – It’s all made up.

I made up these 5 rules for example. Well, they were drawn from my observations and are being clarified and defined here because I believe that leaders are people who define reality.

What can we make up about this? The rules of the future are not the rules of the past.
The principles of the future are the same as the principles of the past, but those are not rules. The rules of the past do not work as well as they once may have because they were made for a different era of situation and circumstances and not a different set of principles. The principles are timeless and never change. We can fake it along a long way without knowing the principles for whatever we’re doing, but we won’t reach higher heights that way. Whatever we’re doing it is a good idea to know what the principles are so we can write new rules to fit the then-current and future situation around them.

Rule #5 – Tomorrow, normal will be different again.

“Normal is just a setting on your dryer.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Wearing masks and staying at least six feet away from people was not normal in the past, but we can’t say it isn’t now. It may not continue this way forever, but it is going to be more accepted and practiced at least for a good while longer than anyone would like. Other things about the way we live are changing, and not returning to the way they were. The changes we’re coming to accept now will be lasting but not necessarily permanent because there will be new changes.

“Change is the only constant in life.” ~ Heraclitus

Get Luckier in 2021

A serious concern I have is that a good many people in companies in our industry will be giving lip service to humility and will believe that their ego is in check when it is not. That is human nature. Just because we are not taking boastful credit for having done something ourselves to make 2020 turn out so much better than where it was clearly headed doesn’t mean we have the kind of humility it is going to take to get out of our own way.

2020 is a windfall revenue year for most companies producing windfall profit because they did not have the opportunity to spend the profits in advance. It is not a stroke of brilliant genius, or a result of hard work even though plenty of that was contributed.  

Many mistaken spending decisions will be made. Many companies will use up the increased profit, spending their way to a more costly level of wages and operating expenses, and then operating as if they needed to buy more and staff-up to serve 2021 customers. The trouble with this is that when a company spends money to make money it most often does not actually make money, and then struggles to meet the new demands for operating expense contribution. The success of 2020 can quickly become failure to succeed in 2021 with tighter cash flow and more debt.

“Don’t grow to make money, make money to grow.”

When we do need to grow to make money, we must do it very carefully, investing wisely to ensure expenditures are centered on getting a payback of the investment over the next year, or two at the most. In our industry, we are blessed in a way, that you can get that return on your investment in as little as a few spring days. Much of my work is in finding those opportunities and getting clients to become like-minded and motivated to take advantage of them so they can accelerate their earnings – making money to grow with.

Make Luck – Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity – PREPARE NOW by adopting the new rules and build your future with them. Call me. I can help...





I’m here for you. Text or call now while you are in the mood to Raise the Bar by becoming Exceptionally Exceptional.

Sid Raisch
Cell: 937-302-0423
[email protected]

Sid Raisch is a leading consultant for business growth, change, and results throughout the US for over 40 years.  He is a consultant to The Garden Center Group and has helped transform both national and local businesses in horticulture into valuable assets with programs that create change in culture, community and company.

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Sid Raisch, Steve Bailey, Robert Hendrickson, Jean Seawright, and John Kennedy are included in your retainer!

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