Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The golden rule

On my way to the ALA Conference in New Orleans I read the latest issue of Wired (a great way to keep up, by the way, and get beyond librarianship even if the magazine's gee wizz factor is sometimes too high.)
I was struck by Larry Brilliant's quote from Eric Schmidt,

“If you are kind to everybody, then you will make good decisions because people will give you good information, and if you are truthful to everybody, they will be truthful to you.”

It has a Chauncey Gardiner feel to it, but it really makes a lot of sense. I have had lots of opportunities to see managers and leaders in action in libraries and beyond. One of the hardest problems an organization leader faces is getting accurate and timely information from the people you work with. People tend to try and "game the system" and tell you what they think you want to hear, or what they think will get them what they want. Honest and open communication, and transparent, collaborative decision making is the key here. As with most things it comes down to consistent application of the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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