Randy’s Rules: Leadership, Disruption, and Mending

  • Instill discipline because this quality separates the successful from the not-so.
  • You can plan, but you can’t predict the future.
  • You’re not alone and likely not the first to do something, so listen to counsel and never stop learning.
  • Set goals for your business and your life, and lay out plans to achieve them.
  • Things fall apart unattended – the Law of Entropy: where order decreases, disorder increases.
  • People are paying attention. Lead by example.
  • If you aren’t passionate about your ideas, no one else will be.
  • Always be sincere, unless you’re sharing a really good joke!
  • Stick to the truth and deliver bad news as well as the good.
  • Don’t let pride interfere with good decision-making. 
  • Give credit, don’t take it.
  • Praise in public, counsel in private.
  • Don’t hide behind emails, texts, and tweets – if it’s worth saying, it’s worth saying to one’s face.
  • Annual reviews are old textbooks; try real-time conversations and feedback instead.
  • Communication has to be in both directions – listen to your subordinates.
  • Hold to your convictions and help others do the same. Be tenacious.
  • Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!  Borrowed from General George Patton.


  • If you’re afraid of taking risks, you’re in the wrong business.
  • Don’t ask for or expect permission to design a competitive product.
  • Patents are only as good as their market value versus the cost of litigating them.
  • Being first to market is important but being best on market is better.
  • Never accept the worn phrase “that’s the way we always have done it”.
  • Just because the insurance industry won’t reimburse for it now, doesn’t mean that they won’t after it disrupts the old way.”
  • Regarding the fortune 50 companies: I’d rather be a partner, but I will be a competitor in lieu of being left out.
  • Fund-raising is like speed dating: perfect your spiel, make a great first impression, and waste no time on low chemistry.

AND beyond company and military leadership:

  • Engage with the other side.  We can’t fix our problems without it.
  • Being right doesn’t always trump settling a dispute.
  • Let facts guide you, but facts alone don’t win people over.

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