Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ten Irrefutable Laws of Curmudgeonly Leadership

Having spent some time in the “Management” section of Barnes and Noble today (hey, I’m on sabbatical, after all), I discerned the need for a short, simple, snappy, guide to curmudgeonly leadership. The management/leadership books struck me as platitudinous at best and artificially formulaic at worse. I was amazed at how much they cost relative to the number of pages and words. So, it is time for a constructive alternative—offered to the world for free.

1. Irrefutable Law #1: Never trust irrefutable laws of leadership. You may get refuted.
2. Irrefutable Law #2: Pundits are typically not to be trusted, except to be pundits-- sell many books, mug for many cameras, speak at many conferences with jumbotrons, and make much money.
3. Irrefutable Law #3: Small books featuring big print, many endorsements, and lots of illustrations make for poor flyswatters, but adequate coasters.
4. Irrefutable Law #4: Curmudgeons lead by lamentation.
5. Irrefutable Law #5: Curmudgeons lead by failing often.
6. Irrefutable Law #6: Curmudgeons lead by being unpopular, misunderstood, and neglected. Who they lead is another question.
7. Irrefutable Law #7: Curmudgeons will be curmudgeons.
8. Irrefutable Law #8: Curmudgeons tilt at windmills, defend lost causes, try to turn back the clock, and wait eagerly for the Last Judgment.
9. Irrefutable Law #9: Curmudgeons perpetuate gloom for the common good.
10. Irrefutable Law #10: Question Irrefutable Laws #1-#9 whenever possible.


Small Group Guy said...

As one who just read "The 21 irrifutable laws of leadership" and was quite disappointed I find yours more to my liking. Maybe I shall make a poster of them.

Good to see the Curmudgeon back in form. My condolences and support go to you and your family.

Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said...

Isn't it a bit post-modern to have self-referential lists? Reminds me of the one I'm sure you know:

1) The boss (wife/teenager/dad) is always right.

2) In case the boss (etc) is wrong, rule 1 applies.

Jonathan Erdman said...

I have a biblical/wisdom problem with #8!

NIV Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.