Mar 8, 2014
Sometimes just by caring the most you don't get to decide. But there might be a happy ending anyways.

Musical airplane chairs.

I came to my seat at 30C, where a fellow passenger got the row and aisle mixed up. I point out the swap,  am fine either way, and end up with the aisle.

The nice dude in 31B swaps with 30B (now filling our aisle) to let a mom sit with her kid behind us.

But then flight attendant offers exit row and 30 is back to 2. Nice dude gets leg room, mommy and kid sit next to each other, and fellow passenger and I marvel at the small triple win from being nice all around.
Nov 2, 2013
The Little Red Hen is a story about getting back what you contribute, or so it seems.

The Little Red Hen wanted to make bread and asked her barnyard friends to help.

At each step from harvesting the wheat, to grinding it at the mill, to kneading the dough and baking the bread, she asksed her farmyard colleagues if they'd like to help.

"Not I," said the dog, pig, horse, cow, and anyone in ear shot to each request.

So naturally, when it was time to eat the bread, only the Little Red Hen and her kids got to partake in rewards.

Fair enough? Yes, but she missed an opportunity to educate, motivate, and encourage others in the process.

Imagine if instead, she had the dog help in a way he liked? Perhaps he could announce the bread making project or fetch ingredients. Maybe the horse could have helped at the mill? The cow could have brought milk. And so forth.

Barnyard and human colleagues might not like certain parts of the bread-making process, but a good leader would encourage others to help on ways they best can following the Midas Rule. For the menial tasks no one wants to do, the hen could have encouraged and incentivized participation with intermediate rewards, rather than the final bread at the very end of the projects.

There are so many ways to get a team to work together, resorting to a "I told you so" after-the-fact approach wasted everyone's time and an opportunity to share the bread-making love.
I believe the saying is, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."

No, absolutely not.

But by Midas Rule, you can...

  • Make your water the best water around
  • Find and bring thirsty horses to the water
  • Personalize the water drinking experience to the horse
  • Meet what needs the horse has and encourage the horse to tell other horses about the best, personalized water drinking experience that's great for thirst horses.
In a zero-sum, gift economy water-drinking environment, you can learn and share about horse behavior and water hole best practices to meet your mission of providing water to the horses.
Aug 27, 2013
It's good to use the Midas Rule to find the right people to do the right work. I sometimes get carried away with the feeling that just because I'm willing and excited to do something suggests I'm qualified to do so.

The proper adjustment for such an attitude is to claim Midas Rule to decide the direction of a project but then find the right people to do the right work. The approach, the standard, or the process you're thinking about may already exist.

Don't fight your process, your team, or or organization in pursuit of the Midas Rule, work with them! Need a tool? Ask around if you someone uses something similar already. Want to improve or fix something? You might have a department, process, or guide in place.

By asking and giving others the opportunity to claim Midas Rule, you'll have the most motivated, enthusiastic, and qualified people working on things that matter to them. Just be sure to give the credit away and if the responsible people aren't interested, well then Midas Rule anyways. You'll find a way to make it work.
Jul 28, 2013

Whoever touches something first and cares the most gets to decide what to do with it.

Use the Midas Rule to encourage others to go ahead and work on what they want, or when someone's being lazy.

"Can I work on this project?" or "It'd be great if someone fixed this bug."
"Yes, by Midas Rule, feel free to work on that."

"Mom, I'm hungry."
"Yes, son. You're 16, by Midas Rule I'm sure you can find something to eat."