In life there is an optimal point of naughtiness. If you are good all the time, then life’s opportunities can pass you right on by. And let’s face it, being good all the time is plain old boring. On the other to hand, if you are too naughty, you could ruin relationships and not achieve your potential. But between being too good and being too naughty, is the optimal point of naughtiness, and this, my friends, is where the magic lies.
I invite you to join me in an exercise. When was the last time you were a little bit naughty? When was the last time you broke the rules?
Maybe this was refusing a management request because it was the wrong thing to do. Maybe it was bending a policy and doing the right thing in the situation, even though it was against "the rules". Maybe it was sharing a personal story in a work environment where that's not the done thing.
Recently a hardworking career man shared a story with me about breaking the rules. He and his team attended the movies on an afternoon when there was nothing to do. The team had been working hard for weeks on end, pulling long hours to get through a deluge of work. And then, the work dried up. Knowing that the team needed a break, they popped to the cinema for a movie, before returning for the end of the day.
The team remembered this as a great example of "give and take". They held the employer and manager in high stead and next time a spike hit, they stuck in to get the work done.
This is a perfect example of the optimal point of naughtiness. When breaking the rules gets you ahead and is the right thing to do.
We have all heard of the saying in life - rules are made to be broken. Don’t get me wrong - rules definitely have a place - until they don't. Knowing the optimal point of naughtiness is gold.