Today I learned a lot about MailChimp – an automated email program. I learnt how to build lists, design templates and send out campaigns.
MailChimp is fairly simple, but it took me some time to figure this out, because I never read instructions. I like to wade right in, figuring out stuff as I go, experimenting as I learn. This behaviour is not limited to learning new things, I generally do not follow rules. I view the words must and should with great suspicion.
When my mother and aunts told us tales of warnings about what we should not and must not do, I was not convinced. They presented no facts, no evidence, just tales of what would happen if we did or did not do something.
I have not followed the rules in my career. I have changed jobs in under two years, have gaps in my resume and changed careers several times. I do my jobs to my ability, I don’t pretend to know what I don’t and I ask for help. I don’t fight for power and I do not network to make powerful alliances. I show up everyday and do what I think I need to do to perform optimally.
When I had to lead a team I did not do one thing that I should or must do as a Manager and even less of the things that an Executive Manager should or must do. There was no reason to follow what I did not believe in or what I could see not real benefits from. As a result, I developed my own way of doing things and documented this in Lead Your Team To Win.
Not following rules has left me with Alice’s wonderment and the scatter brains of the Mad Hatter. I am generally in a state of curiosity, wondering about what I can do differently, questioning when I hear what I must do.
As a result, I need some more time to question and figure things out. I can be over analytical as I take little for granted, and I take real risks. I take the good with the bad. I accept the negative fallout for not following rules as the flip side of the positive experiences that I gain when I do not follow rules.
I know that there is nothing that I must do and even less that I should not do.
What are the things that you must do? What are the things that you should not do? What are they stopping you from doing?