Tony Schwartz’s Principles For Fiercely Complex Times

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Rules of Thumb, skmurphy

Tony Schwartz offers “Ten Principles For Living in Fiercely Complex Times” that  you can “rely on to make choices that reflect openness, integrity and authenticity.” Here are the top three for me:

“Emotions are contagious, so it pays to know what you’re feeling.”
Tony Schwartz

One of the balancing acts of entrepreneurship is control vs. creative delegation. A commitment to taking personal responsibility and controlling your destiny is essential to getting a startup off the ground. But later on, growth requires effective delegation, which entails a risk of the loss of control.  We talk to entrepreneurs who say they want to grow, but as the conversation progresses it’s clear that they only want to grow their business to the point that they remain in complete control.  A fear of a loss of control, like a fear of heights, is essential to get started.  But it has to be complemented with an ability to trust–business partners, customers, employees, suppliers, and channel partners—or you can only grow the business to  a certain size.

“If you do what you love, the money may or may not follow, but you’ll love what you do.”
Tony Schwartz

The value of what you are able to do determines how much money will follow. Sometimes “do what you love” has become “do what you know” and you find that you have allowed your fears to construct a prison that prevents you from learning new things. New things that you would love  and that would provide more value.

“You can’t change what you don’t notice and not noticing won’t make it go away.”
Tony Schwartz

Here is where good friends, spouses, and outside advisors can help.  Sometimes you know at one level but can’t really admit it to yourself. Other times you don’t know but are glad once you do. And sometimes you don’t want to face the consequences of knowing. If someone is having trouble learning something or facing a situation, don’t offer advice, ask questions and listen to their answers to help them come to terms with what they have to change.

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