Weekender: Ron Swanson’s Three Workplace Rules

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Welcome to another addition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, a stash of thought to start your weekend off on the right track. Why just a stash? Because it’s the weekend!

I was recently re-watching the series finale of Parks and Recreation and noticed two bits of advices that can benefit any leader. The first is that this show (particularly this episode) is a great pick-me-up when you’re having a rough day. Second, and more fitting for leaders, is Ron Swanson’s sage wisdom.

Over the course of the Parks & Rec finale, we learn the fate of each character. Ron Swanson is bequeathed his dream job, Superintendent of Pawnee National Park. When being introduced to his new staff, he tells them his three rules for the workplace:

If you show up on time, speak honestly and treat everyone with fairness we will get along just fine.

If this sounds overly complex, Swanson is emphasizing 1) punctuality, 2) honesty, and 3) fairness. There’s a beauty in the simplicity of these ideals. No unnecessarily flowery language or high-flatulency to make it sound bigger than it needs to be. Just three core values that we are all capable of abiding by.

Ron Swanson is a man of few words, and those words are typically purposeful. He lives by them and has no patience for anyone who behaves otherwise. Make punctuality, honesty, and fairness a key focus of your culture and see how simple goodness can enhance your work environment.

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