Jeff Coleman’s Laws and Management Rules

My grandfather, Jeff Coleman, started Coleman Research back in the 1980s, it was eventually sold to L3 Communications in the mid-90s. As part of his legacy, he wrote a list of laws and management rules on how to run a successful business. My father, Michael Coleman, took these rules and started Coleman Technologies, Inc. a company focused primarily on networking and VoIP. They also had some other interesting products like their GPS tracking units for the police to use on suspects. CTI eventually becaome part of Presidio, a much larger VoIP and networking provider.

I think they serve as an excellent compass. Seeing as these rules have provided a successful heading in these two business, I look to them for guidance as well.

Jeff Coleman’s Laws:

  1. No one is smart enough to be a dictator.
  2. The only real power one has is the power of persuasion.
  3. The less you know about something the simpler it seems.
  4. Important decisions require at least one night’s sleep.
  5. Decisions made without all the facts are guesses.
  6. The most important thing a manager does is people picking.
  7. Lies are hard to remember.
  8. There is nothing more critical to true success than openness, honesty and integrity.
  9. Those that don’t solicit and listen to advice are destined to be unsuccessful.
  10. What is given cannot be taken away.
  11. Meddling after responsibility is delegated and accepted, provides a built-in excuse for failure.
  12. Unwritten agreements are soon forgotten.
  13. Time is not a good decision maker.
  14. You must look successful to be successful.
  15. Cash flow is more important than profit.
  16. Grow or die.
  17. The only people that are not making mistakes are those that are not doing anything.
  18. Don’t bite off more than you can bite off.
  19. The most important and most difficult trait to identify is the ability to get things done.
  20. A manager with a full calendar every day isn’t delegating properly.
  21. A full day spent in meetings is 40% wasted.
  22. A pat on the back is the ultimate in cost effectiveness.
  23. A manager that takes the credit for the work of the troops should be made a member of the troops.
  24. A manager unwilling to take risks is destined for mediocrity.
  25. Twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work.
  26. People that feel comfortable in their job are more productive.
  27. All contracts end.
  28. The prepared bird gets the worm.
  29. An unfilled position is better than one filled by the wrong person.
  30. The killer of the bearer of bad news quickly joins the ranks of the uninformed.

Jeff Coleman’s Management Rules:

  1. Don’t dictate – persuade.
  2. Project a can-do attitude.
  3. Delegate then don’t interfere, but be available to help.
  4. Learn to accommodate a wide variety of personalities.
  5. Don’t tolerate bickering, blame, throwing, or covering up – insist on harmonious teamwork.
  6. Be tolerant of mistakes – up to a limit.
  7. Be intolerant of incompetence.
  8. Encourage constructive dissent.
  9. Never miss an opportunity to pat someone on the back.
  10. Be honest, but gentle when appraising someone.
  11. Give individuals a voice in their job assignment.
  12. Make sure an assignment is understood and accepted.
  13. Set high standards.
  14. Be selective in hiring.
  15. Be consistent.
  16. Be open.
  17. Don’t lose your temper.
  18. Don’t ever take credit for others’ work.
  19. Speak out.
  20. Be inquisitive.
  21. Write it down.
  22. Don’t give the appearance of vacillating, but avoid the extreme of bullheadedness.
  23. Be accurate – don’t exaggerate.
  24. Keep your boss informed.
  25. Don’t criticize one of your employees in front of others.
  26. Cherish your personal integrity.
  27. Keep your appearance neat.
  28. Set a good example.
  29. Take pride in everything you do.
  30. Make money for the company and have fun doing it.