What’s your business policy? I believe everyone has one. Mine is a No Jerky People Policy. Let me explain…

Last week, I was at a wine dinner with George Daou, founder of Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles, California. He is everything you would expect–charming, interesting, captivating. During our dinner, he declared his business policy (and life policy, too) was a No Jerk Policy. Suddenly, my wife looked at me and said, “You two are going to be BFFs!” because my motto has always been a strict No A@#$% Policy.

Having a strict “policy” of any kind is something that I am typically (almost literally) allergic to. I don’t like the idea of adhering to a rigid way of thinking in circumstances that can be so fluid. This started me thinking about the dichotomy between disliking the word “policy” but actually having a policy that often guides me in business and personal relationships: No Jerks. (I like George’s way of saying it, much more civilized and elegant, so now I have adopted it!) Having a business policy or personal policy can work to your advantage. It creates boundaries and can help you with life decisions as it has me.

So the question here is, what business policy or personal policy are you laying down? Maybe it’s No In-authenticity, or No Wastefulness, or even No Drama. Doesn’t matter as long as it is what makes sense to you. My confident wife, for instance, talks about eliminating anyone from her life who is negative, so she has a No Negativity Policy.

What are you going to accept and embrace in your life? Chose now, because it defines you. I love loving people who want to embrace change and think about the world differently. There is no right or wrong here, only that you believe that who you hang with defines you. So if you hang with positive people, you will be positive. If you hang with negative people, you will be negative and if you hang with jerks… oh my, I think you’ve got the point! So remember, hang around with those you want to be like. Period.

Ok, I’ll say this one more time–be around the people who emulate what you want to be like. Ok, just one more time: Ha! No just kidding, because I want to be around people that laugh and can take a joke, because life should be LIGHT! So ok, my policy is more like Have Fun With People You Love Who Are Not Jerks And Forget Everyone Else. Wow, do I have a policy!

Forgive me, but this one is important and I hope that whatever you do, you have a policy that eliminates negativity around you. There should be no room for jerks or a@#$% around you. So next time you are toasting, maybe use some of George Daou‘s wine because he has reminded us that having a policy is not a bad thing. Here’s to No Jerks…


PS–Hope you find this little confession amusing and also enlightening. The last blog I wrote, about the importance of making mistakes, was actually a mistake! I thought I was at “M” in my series A-Z of Business, but was actually on “P.” Because of traveling and my normal disorientation I made another wonderful, unpredictable, can’t-make-this-up mistake. But in the spirit of change, mixing it up and embracing mistakes, I decided to destroy the typical “P” blog that I had written, and write one that gives yet another dimension to disruption and innovation. Hope you enjoyed it. Hope you got as big of a chuckle out of this mistake as I did.