School Rules

It doesn’t matter what you say you believe - it only matters what you do.
— Robert Fughum

Last week in Colorado and across the nation, many kids started back to school.  My own daughter started high school and so begins a new adventure.  She’s attending a new school with new rules.

I started thinking that in business there is never a new beginning the way there is with school.  There is no official beginning to refresh and renew on an annual basis.  No one telling you it’s time to learn something new.  No one giving you new rules to follow.

This reflection reminded me of a book I read many years ago calledAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. Perhaps you've read it? I love the simplicity of how he writes and yet is also profoundly reflective.

For those who haven't read it, or if you want a refresher, here is what he learned in Kindergarten:

  1. Share everything.
  2. Play fair.
  3. Don't hit people.
  4. Put things back where you found them.
  6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
  7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
  8. Wash your hands before you eat.
  9. Flush.
  10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  12. Take a nap every afternoon.
  13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryro foam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

This list does really cover all the biggies from the Golden Rule to basic healthy living.  Think about how this could apply to your workplace to encourage a healthier environment if you were to adopt 1 or 2 of them.  How can you give your workplace some new school rules to refresh and engage your culture?

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Without realizing it, we fill important places in each other’s lives...There are those who depend in us, watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know. You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you.know.
— Robert Fulghum