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Nordstrom’s first employee manual was a work of genius. It reads:
Nordstoms employee manual

Obviously this rule would not work well with the bounty of micro-managers who dominate our business and professional cultures today.

But idiot bosses aside, I’ve also known and continue to know many people who are thoroughly enamored with rules. These are people who desire clearly delineated codes of conduct for all situations. While there is a place in the world for rules, these people believe that there must be a rule for every place.

In my estimation, these people tend to be timid, conforming, paralyzed by choice, lacking confidence, afraid to be perceived as the bad guy and unable to enforce discipline or garner respect without explicit norms. These are people who value structure and obedience over choice and good judgment.

In raising my daughter, I’m hoping to be more of an old school Nordstrom’s man.

This is a phrase I never thought I would ever utter.