Rules, rules, rules!

Everyone plays by the rules don’t they?  In an ideal world that ‘might ‘ be the case and experience tells me nothing could be further from the truth. Next time you drag out the Monopoly Board take note of how you and others play.

Do you read the rules diligently and then play your cards accordingly?

Do you make it up as you go along and hope for the best? Free parking and tossing cash into the centre of the board is an Australian peculiarity which only serves to prolong an already lengthy game.

Are you strategic and plan ahead?

Do you just show up and take what you get?

Do you ignore the rules altogether?  Now you might think, well it’s just a game AND how you play that game is indicative.


“How you play games is how you do life”

Indicative of what? It says a lot about how you ‘operate’. Your results are in large part dictated by how well you prepare, how well you know the rules of the game… Knowing the rules you are best placed to not only play by them but to use them to your advantage. Knowing the rules is an ace in your pocket. It can and does alter the results, especially when the margins of the game are tight. It makes a difference in every aspect of life, knowing the rules can be the difference between getting your desired outcome and celebrating or not.


Know your rights

Firstly, it is critical that you know your rights, obligations and entitlements; all of which are equally important. I talked about agreements and negotiations that take place when you are working with others on a project or business in earlier blog post on rules.   In this instance rules are imposed and adhered to for work-ability.  There is NO room for negotiation which is why it is critical for you to know your rights and obligations. Try negotiating with a Police officer or similar. You simply cannot afford not to know! Not knowing has the potentiality to land you in hot water.

Secondly, even when you do know your rights and obligations if other parties are operating under a common delusion (in agreement) you may be forced to defend yourself vigorously. What knowing your rights will do is enable you to take action fast. The faster and more decisively you act, the lower the cost to you.


The Players

Which one are you? Know how you operate and cover your gaps!

  1. Read the rules diligently and then play your cards accordingly:  This is clearly the most effective way to play any game and it is not everybody’s strong suit. It is where you need to surround yourself with people that operate this way.
  2. Make it up as you go along and hope for the best:  This strategy means you have no idea of what your rights and obligations are, yours towards others or others towards you. You are unpredictable and driven by reaction, making you hard to deal with.  Hope is never a good way of doing anything.  You are at the whim and mercy of circumstance and those around you.
  3. Strategic and plan ahead:  This is where you carefully consider the rules and your options and have a plan for how to deal with a host of contingencies, should they occur. You do not only have a plan B, you probably have a plan C as well.
  4. Show up and take what you get:  You get what you plan for.  You showed up with no plan so your only choice is to take what is on offer or rather what is left over.  This is the antithesis of accountability.
  5. Ignore the rules altogether:  This is the Modus Operandi of the Maverick and the Rule Breaker who thinks they can do whatever they want and hang the consequences. Operating in this way will undermine other’s trust in you and potentially land you in hot water.


Having the right people around you

It’s how you fill the gaps! I was recently involved in a dispute around the erection of a fence that impinged on my rights as a Lot Owner. Not understand my rights, nor the rules governing my rights made this an expensive exercise.  I have managed to turn the situation around only by having the right people around me.  The vote on the motion directly affecting my rights was a tie, meaning the motion was lost.

My solicitor then called for a “Poll vote”, meaning the votes were tallied according to the number of Lot entitlements each Lot owner has (not all Lots are created equal). This meant the motion passed, paving the way for my rights to be restored and making a significant difference to the commercial value of my property. Needless to say, I am now very much across my rights and obligations.

The devil is in the detail! Knowing the detail can and does make the difference.