Title: The Rules of Work

Author: Richard Templar

No. of pages: 273 pages (paperback)

Year of publication: 2015

Publisher: Pearson Education Limited

My rating: ★★★★★

Check it out on Goodreads: link

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Richard Templar first started formulating The Rules of Work many years ago when he was an assistant manager competing for a promotion as a manager. Templar had lost the promotion to his colleague, Rob and he began analyzing Rob’s qualities that made him favourable compared to Templar as a manager. Later on, he managed to secure a position higher than rob and continued to make advancements in the corporate hierarchy. 

Templar had discovered the unwritten rules of being the top dog in the corporate world. Books like this seem to be inclined towards affirmations of Machiavelli’s The Prince, promoting game plans that work only if you’re willing to behave like a conniving finalist on Survivor.

Yet, this book is actually relevant and it has an interesting twist: Templar says it’s only for those who are willing to work harder than everyone else. He writes, “These rules are not for…posers. They are for the really industrious, the talented, the hardworking, the naturally gifted, those who are prepared to put in some effort and burn some oil.”

Templar’s rules range from stark common sense to amusingly wicked. He values ethical boundaries, however, and he’s confident enough to criticize himself to make a point.  

I recommend this fun, useful compendium to anyone who could use an official rulebook, spiced up with a little attitude, for the game of office politics.

Why You Should Read This Book

An old-time favourite, this book is an evergreen guide that will assist you to enhance your work attitude towards your job, thus achieving optimum productivity and progress. Templar’s writing style is very blunt and direct. He does not beat around the bush and there is definitely no idealistic suggestions or affirmations by this author.

Templar emphasizes that the competition is ferocious in the world out there and there is no time to play with feelings. His book is for the extremely aspiring types that genuinely aim to achieve brilliance in the workforce and reach their highest potential. Templar calls these people “Rules Players”. 

If you don’t intend to adhere to his rules, he advises you to forget about reading his book and continue being comfortable with your current work performance.

By reading Templar’s rule book and diligently applying what he preaches, Templar guarantees that you will:

  1. Get promoted
  2. Get along better with your colleges
  3. Feel better about yourself
  4. Enjoy your work more
  5. Understand your job better
  6. Understand your boss’s point of view better
  7. Be valued and respected
  8. Be successful if you leave to start your own business

There are several other fantastic outcomes that Templar vouches for but you’ll need to explore his book to discover them. Another plus-point about Templar’s book is that it is a light read, but it forces you to think in order to digest each rule. Although some of the rules seem like child’s play, sometimes it can be very easy to overlook some of the most trivial things that will get you far in life.

An example is Rule No. 37, where Templar emphasizes the importance of saying “Please” and “Thank You”. Templar recommends that we should use both phrases for everything we requested for and receive. And by everything, he means even the simplest gestures of kindness, such as saying “Thank you” to someone holding the door for you, or saying “Please” when you ask a colleague for a favour.

One of the things that should be kept in mind before delving into Templar’s masterpiece is the fact that this book was published in 2005, before the exploding fame and glamour of social media. If it is published after the emergence of social media, I would enquire his opinion regarding what is considered as a decent post on your profile and how to maneuver the utilization of social media in a professional manner.

I personally think we have a general idea of what to do, but wouldn’t it be more enforcing to hear it from an expert? Occasionally every few months or so, I read Templar’s book just to reflect on the rules that I have neglected and the rules that I religiously still follow, and I suggest you do the same too. 

The Verdict

This book will be a useful read not only for corporate workers, but also for workers from all walks of life such as scientists, chefs, even students, and anyone who is seeking to make that leap of paradigm in their respective careers and lives. I hope you will enjoy reading this exceptional book as much as I did, and as a token of thought, I leave you a quote by the great author himself,

“Live here, live now, live in this moment.”

Richard Templar
The Rules of Life: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful Life
page 47 (Rule No. 22 : Don’t Dwell on the Past)

Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash.

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