The “Rhodium Rule”
“Do unto yourself what inspires the best in others.” – Tim Milburn’s Rhodium Rule (Leadership Is Not About You)
I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably wondering what Rhodium is. I also thought the same thing when I first read this rule. Based on what I found on the internet (Wikipedia, Webster, Dictionary.com) and Tim Milburn’s book, Leadership Is Not About You, I learned that it is a metallic element that’s resistant to corrosion and is also a catalyst. Because of that, it is known as “Noble Metal”. A member of the platinum metal group, Rhodium is a rare and precious type of metal that can be used to protect and accentuate other metals. That sounds pretty valuable to me.
Now that I think about it, leaders work just like Rhodium. How you ask? Well, good leaders are optimistic even in difficult situations so that they can meet their goals. Because they are focused, they do not let fear and doubt cloud their judgment and impact their work. They are resistant to elements that cause failure just like Rhodium resists corrosion and tough chemicals.
Good Leaders are also catalysts. They move people. They are able to do it by making others feel included in their vision(s). They paint good pictures and help people imagine how they will fit in that portrait. As a result, they slowly bring out the best qualities in their team. They help a group or an organization get the best ROI (return on investment). Here are some other ways that leaders build effective teams:
- They build trust within their team;
- They value everyone’s attributes;
- They put other’s needs before their own;
- They set a positive example for others to follow (even in difficult times);
- They create space for everyone to grow;
- They perceive and project leadership as an opportunity to serve.
The Rhodium Rule simply means to live your life in a way that will inspire growth in others. Doing this does not entail winning a Pulitzer Prize or finding the cure for Cancer. But it does mean living your life authentically and with integrity. It means “walking your talk”, making people around you feel valuable, owning your mistakes gracefully, and praising your friends in success. It’s all about doing the everyday things when no one is watching. It’s all about personal responsibility.
Be an authentic leader and follow the Rhodium Rule.