A Retired President of UPS International on How to Bend the Rules

Highly successful leaders bend and break rules.

The gray areas make or break you.

The art of leadership happens outside the lines. Staying within the rules is safe and easy. 

the art of leadership happens outside the lines

“Not all rules apply the same to everybody everywhere.” Ron Wallace, ret. President UPS International

An exception:

Ron told me the story of a driver he could have been terminated for his third accident. Ron chose to tear up the accident report.

The story interests me because sometimes doing the right thing is doing the “wrong” thing – breaking the rules. 

Ron’s decision to make an exception turned a resistant employee into a powerful ally.

Rigid adherence to the rules isn’t always the best thing.

Ron Wallace in his own words on when to bend or break the rules (6:32):

How to make exceptions and bend the rules:

  1. In most cases hold the line.
  2. Don’t engage in illegal or unethical behaviors.
  3. Go with your heart.
  4. Seek the best way (which isn’t always in the lines).
  5. If you don’t have experience, seek advice from a boss.
  6. If you’re concerned about legal issues, seek advice from legal counsel.
  7. Move forward if you have reasonable confidence you won’t do harm. (Reasonable confidence is the best you’re going to get in gray areas.)

“If there’s doubt, ask somebody else.” Ron Wallace, author of Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver.

What suggestions do you have for breaking rules and making exceptions?

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