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Several years ago Dr. Todd Dewett penned, “Dewett’s Rules,” as part of The Little Black Book of Leadership. Recently, new bits of truth have begun to stick in his brain. Read, Dewett’s Rules Part 2.


I’m often asked for tips or advice. In response, several years ago I penned Dewett’s Rules as part of The Little Black Book of Leadership. If I could tell you nothing else, I would tell you to: be fair, stay positive, and reduce ambiguity. Useful stuff. Three was an arbitrary pick that simply sounded better than seven or ten.

However, new little bits of truth have recently begun to stick in my brain. They are so simple and so perspective building that I’ve added them prominently to my website and begun incorporating them into speeches.  Now I would like to offer them to you.  Let’s call them Dewett’s Rules – Part 2.

More is always possible.

Goal setting is fun.  It’s vital. It’s the foundation of success.  However, oddly, success often creates a problematic feeling of contentment. Your hunger propelled you to climb towards that executive office, but the luxurious trappings you find begin to satisfy the hunger. Drive fades.

You have to remind yourself that more is always possible. Frankly, for the successful, it is an imperative.  The real goal is to maximize potential, not simply to reach one or two big goals. Following any and all future goal achievement, consider the following approach.

Give yourself a defined amount of time to celebrate and focus on the win.  Measure it in days, not weeks or months. Next, articulate a new target – one that makes you just a little nervous. You ran a marathon, great, how about a triathlon? Start dreaming – there is always a bigger mountain to climb. Finally, don’t surround yourself with visual reminders of your greatness (e.g., trophies, diplomas, awards). They only distract. Replace them with visual reminders about the next goal you have yet to complete. That’s motivation.

Excellence is free.

2016 Photo of Dr. Todd Dewett on HRExaminer.com

Dr. Todd Dewett | Founding member, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board

It is true that hiring talent is expensive.  Many tools and resources are very expensive.  However, the best drivers of personal and team improvement do not cost a dime. Excellence is best defined by work ethic and attitude.

Call it whatever you would like:  work ethic, clocking the hours, putting in the effort, going the extra mile, showing strong persistence.  It’s truly amazing how much working hard compensates for the fact that you are not a genius.  Just remember – no matter how smart your competition, you can always choose to outwork them.

Attitude is interesting. It is somewhat driven by your personality. Thus you may have a natural disposition towards certain attitudes. Ultimately, however, we all have the ability to choose our attitude. Be intentional every day and make the conscious choice to have a positive attitude. This is the secret to seeing opportunities, the secret to a learning orientation, and the secret to attracting other positive people.  Oh yea – it’s free. You’re welcome.

Authenticity beats authority.

Achievement is about connection, not power. Sometimes you might need to impose yourself on others, but the best leaders don’t have to very often. They coach. They build rapport. They collaborate. They listen They support. It takes a person to do these things, not a boss.

It’s inspiring what happens when you show others a little of the authentic person you often hide. Let down your professional mask just a little and give them a peek at the real you. Sure you want to be reasonable and respectful, but try a little candor.  Maybe let them know how you feel. Consider letting them learn about some of your interests, friends and family, your dreams. The more they feel you’re an authentic human instead of only a polished professional, the more they will do whatever it takes to help you.

I used the word “secret” a moment ago. Truthfully, there are very few real secrets in life. We know how to help you become a better version of yourself. It all starts with believing more is possible, excellence is free, and authenticity trumps authority. Good luck.

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