The Rules of Life: A personal code Success
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The Rules of Life: A personal code for living a better, happier, more successful kind of life This book is dedicated to Miyamoto Musashi, who taught me the strategy of simplicity, and Jamie Greenwood, who taught me the economy of movement. I am indeed deeply indebted to both of them.
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For reasons that are too long and complicated to go into here, I had to live with my grandparents for a couple of years when I was very young. They, like many of their generation, were hardworking, contented sort of people. My grandfather had taken early retirement owing to an industrial accident (a truck-load of bricks fell on his foot) and my grandmother worked in a large department store in London.
Having me dumped unexpectedly on her for a while obviously caused logistical problems. I was too young for school, and my grandfather wasn’t to be trusted to look after me at home. (Men didn’t look after children in those days…my, how things have changed.) Her solution was to tuck me under her wing—on some days physically as well as metaphorically, as she smuggled me past managers and supervisors—and we went to work together.
Now going to work with “Nan” was fun. I was expected to keep quiet and still for long periods and, as I didn’t know any different, assumed this was normal. I found that by watching customers—often from my safe refuge under a huge desk—I could pass the time quite happily. Thus was born an immense appetite for people-watching.
My mother—later I went back to live with her—said it would never get me anywhere. I’m not so sure. You see, early in my career, observation of those around showed that there were a distinct set of behaviors that got people promoted. If there were two women of equal ability, for example, and one dressed, thought, and behaved as if she had already been promoted, she would be the one who got the next available job at that next level. Putting these behaviors into practice gave me a fast track up the career ladder. These “rules” formed the basis of my book Rules of Work, now a bestseller in its field.
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