Are You a Rule Maker, Rule Breaker or a Rule Faker?

Who are the rules for? Why were they created? Are they working?

A series of events has me thinking about rules.

First I thought about the Rule MAKERS I know.

We’ll make this rule because it will make MY job easier!

Then I thought about the Rule BREAKERS I know.

I follow ALL the rules… EXCEPT

Then I thought about the Rule FAKERS I know.  

This rule is here just for our protection – I don’t care if it is followed or not, but if the authorities ever come, I can show them our rules.

And then I started to wonder if the makers, breakers and fakers ever considered these questions before they made a rule, broke a rule or pretended to have a rule. 

Who are the rules for?

  • Your citizens?
  • Your customers?
  • Your employees?
  • The titled leaders?
  • The people or teams you don’t like?
  • The auditors?
  • The lawyers?
  • Yourself?

Why were they created?

  • To support a vision?
  • To breathe long-term life and health into an organization?
  • For safety?
  • For security?
  • For cleanliness?
  • To control others?
  • For the benefit of one person or one team or one group of people?
  • To pretend to care about a problem?
  • To cover the leader’s rear if there is a problem?
  • To prevent a conflict between individuals, teams, and groups of people?
  • To deal with a temporary situation?
  • To address an individual situation indirectly?

Who holds people accountable?

  • All of the titled leaders, all of the time?
  • Some of the titled leaders, some of the time?
  • Peers?
  • Direct Reports?
  • Customers?
  • Auditors?
  • Lawyers?
  • No one?

How well are the rules working?

  • Are they limiting risk?
  • Are they increasing trust?
  • Are they limiting division and conflicts?
  • Are they simple?
  • Are they easy to understand?
  • Are they bringing people together?
  • Are they increasing efficiency? …Effectiveness? …Service? …Results?

Question: Please Share! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

  • Why do you make rules?
  • Do you follow all of the rules someone else makes – ALL OF THE TIME?
  • And if not, how do you decide which rules you follow, which ones you break and which ones you fake?


President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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6 thoughts on “Are You a Rule Maker, Rule Breaker or a Rule Faker?

  1. Great questions, Chery! I’m not sure what I would call it but recently I noticed I had a “These rules are for you not me” moment. I was telling my son a hard and fast rule in our house… that I was regularly breaking (Becuase I’m an adult? Because I’m exempt?) I changed the rules again to not only hold him accountable but to enable him to hold me accountable too. We’re both on the path to doing better as a result.

    ~ Alli

    • Alli – I love your story! It is exactly what was happening to me when I started this post. …First focused on the behavior of others and as I wrote it more and more aware of m own behavior, the times the rules are necessary, the times the rules are made for the wrong reasons, and the need for all of us to tuned in and to make conscious choices. Instead of being rebels without a cause, or rule makers without understanding!

  2. Great post, Chery!

    I am very respectful of rules and think that they can be helpful as long as they make sense and are relevant. I just think that they are not always so well thought out. For example, I think the rule that Marissa Mayer of Yahoo concocted about not allowing employees to work from home is insane. It’s not practical nor is it good for Yahoo. Flexibility is essential to compete.

    Thanks Chery for another insightful read!

  3. I am a rule follower. I also will object to rules I think should be changed, but in general I will follow them until they are changed. Where rules the problem the rules should be changed not ignored, and many rules should be changed and/or eliminated.