I’ve been reading a really amazing book. It’s called “One Piece of Paper” and is written by a guy named Mike Figliuolo. The best way I can think of to describe this book is to quote the author:
“Imagine explaining your leadership philosophy on one piece of paper – a simple 8.5” x 11” summation of all you are and all you want to be as a leader. How powerful would it be to have a discussion about that single page with the members of your team? But that’s impossible.
Or is it?
This book will help you do exactly that.”
– Mike Figliuolo
M read this book when it was first published and has shared it with a number of colleagues. I saw it sitting in our house and it sparked a conversation about leadership styles and expectations that had me taking my own crack at writing down a set of maxims… but first, I had to figure out what a “maxim” was…
By definition, a maxim is a noun. It’s (1) an expression of a general truth or principle and (2) a principle or rule of conduct. Once I began reading this book I realized that, while Figliuolo’s book is focused on those in the business world, I could easily apply these practices to many different areas of my own life. I may not spend hours upon hours in corporate America, but I operate under a set of principles or rules of conduct that could certainly qualify as Maxims.
I’ve been on PTA boards and athletic association boards, been part of a governing body for our church, and am now working in the wine industry. Each position has required a working set of principles that helps to guide my participation and/or leadership. When reading this book, I gained new insight into what did or didn’t work in each situation. I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses in past ventures and am continuing to evolve into the person I strive to be in the future.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who actively participates in their life. I believe that the act of putting down, on a single sheet of paper, the principles by which you live your life, is an extremely helpful tool, no matter what you do in life. Whether just starting out or hitting your stride late in life, this book should resonate with everyone. I hope you’ll take a moment and consider your own list of Maxims… it doesn’t have to be complete, but it should be something that grows as you do…
Here’s my list of Maxims… they may not make sense as they’re written, but they resonate with me or remind me to focus back on an important ideal. If you want to know what they mean, just ask…
Follow the Golden Rule.
Corral the “shiny”.
Save the drama for your mama.
Fool me once, shame on you.. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Be true to your beliefs and trust your gut.
Don’t ask anyone to do something you would not.
Praise in public, correct in private
Did anyone die?
Be truthful… Be honest… Be trustworthy.
Always honor your commitments.
Tell me something good.
Family isn’t just blood.
It’s not about me.
Let those who know, do so those who don’t, won’t.
I’m sure I’ll add or amend these as my life evolves, but this is a good representation of the core of my beliefs… are you ready to do the work to figure out your One Piece of Paper???
Thanks, Mike F, for coming up with something so simple, yet so timeless.