7 core principles for self-management


As I find my seat on the flight back to Houston from LA, I started the usual pleasantry with the passenger seating nearby the window. Quick the chat becomes an interesting discussion as the passenger, Michelle, began to share with my the project she is working on. While I explain to her my passion and what I’m doing to spread it.

Michelle is working for several months on a new initiative, which will disrupt HR significantly. After she heard my journey, Michelle shared that she is looking to set up her company in a new way. She finds self-management, wholeness and purpose-based organization a better fit for her vision than the traditional current hierarchical/flat structures. When she asked me how she should start her journey, I thought it might be a good idea to share my thoughts with everyone.

I believe that the first step when thinking about starting a new company (or radically change your current organization) based on Wholeness, self-management, and purpose is to make sure you understand core principles (not over 10) that will govern your behavior, culture and decision making.
Make sure you articulate these core principles in a way that not just you, but other people new to your organization will understand them, even 100 years from now.

Those are the principles I shared with Michelle. I hope that you find them useful. Please use them just as if you 100% agree with them.

Radical Truth
Always say, use and seek the truth, even if it’s not convenient! Be true to yourself, and what you believe. When communicating with peers, customers, vendors, and even competitors always tell the truth. It’s better not to answer a question, rather than reply with a lie. It’s not enough to believe that you know the truth and you are right. Always make sure that you can prove to you and others your truth.

Radical Transparency
Be as transparent as you can with anyone that you work and interact. Any member of our organization should know and understand any decision, from compensation to the company strategy and from success to failure. Hide no information and always raise the flag. Use transparency to explain any decision and to give feedback to anyone. Transparency creates a high level of trust, so use it all the time.

Radical leading from mistakes
We are all human beings that make mistakes, no exceptions. Making a mistake is natural, but it’s necessary to learn from mistakes to prevent them from reoccurring. Anyone should fill safe to communicate their errors by doing so you are not going to be impacted negatively. We all need to learn from our own and other people’s mistakes without creating a blaming culture. Learning from errors is crucial for continuous improvement, so make sure you understand and embrace it!

Radical self-awareness
Every one of us has greatness and weaknesses; being aware of them makes you a better person. Working in an environment that actively encourage people to be better creates a better working place. Continuously work and explore better ways to learn yourself and to be more aware of how you are impacting other people and how different people influence you. Make sure you communicate weaknesses that you want to work on. If other people know what you are working on, they can help you reach your goals.

Radical self-management
For so many years, most humans were told what they needed to do. It starts during the industrial revolution, and it’s still here to different degrees. We want people that are the opposite, people that can manage themselves, that can think forward, find problems and take action to change what they believe is needed. Leaders are always required, you can see them everywhere in nature, but manages without leadership attitude are not. Leaders should be the result of meritocracy; the only one that you can and will manage is yourself. self-management is not a replacement for execution and accountability. On the contrary, self-management requires you to be responsible for yourself and your group execution and accountability. As a self-managed group, we need to take care of all the challenges we see. There aren’t any managers you can complain to, and they will resolve your issues, you have to solve your issues! Whenever you identify a problem, roll your sleeves and fix it.

Clear and noble purpose
As a company, we should always have a noble purpose that we’re pursuing. Our noble purpose should explain precisely how we as a group of people will make the world better or help our community. Any member of our company should know our purpose and should be committed to it. Any group within the organization should have a purpose derived from the company’s purpose.

Let Evolution work, don’t block it.
We are where we are as human beings thanks to evolution. Evolution is one of the most influential forces in nature that continuously makes it better. Evaluation tries all the time different ways, fails a lot and sometimes succeeds. If evolution had to follow procedures and policies and will be punished for every attempt? Well, you know the answer. Embrace evolution and implement it in anything that you are doing. Define how you measure success and what are the criteria to eliminate particular mutation, but always enable new mutations to be created.

1 thought on “7 core principles for self-management”

  1. Pingback: Seven core principles for better organization (yet another one) – Marram

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