Sunday, May 24, 2009

Snake Policy

Every now and then Harvey Mackey—the envelope guy –who writes on management, has something great and today his column on decision making is one of those times. This applies to business and to all of life I think….here’s the best part, and it’s about snakes!

James Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape, was a charismatic manager whose maxims have endeared him to his employees. One of his favorites was formulated at a management retreat soon after he took over Netscape. It's known as his three-snake rule:

The first rule: If you see a snake, kill it. Don't set up a snake committee. Don't set up a snake user group. Don't write snake memos. Kill it.

The second rule: Don't play with dead snakes. (Don't revisit decisions.)

The paradoxical third: All opportunities start out looking like snakes.

Mackay's Moral: Don't be afraid to make a decision. Be afraid not to make a decision.

Harvey Mackay can be reached through his Web site,

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