Last week at the #One18 conference, Dr. Mark Lyons, President of Alltech spoke about his late father and founder of Alltech, Dr. Pearse Lyons and how he was a champion of sustainability, brewing, nutrition and innovation. He shared a list of what his non-negotiables were that helped make him successful and set him apart.

Non-negotiables are the things you will not negotiate on. They define not only what you will and won’t accept from others but they also align with your values and principles. They are the promises you keep to yourself, your family and your team. Only you can determine what they are and only you can manage them. What I like most about them is that they help guide you through hard times when decision making is difficult.

Dr. Pearse Lyons’ Non-Negotiables were:

  • Bias for action: “Don’t get it right, get it going”
  • Learning/curiosity: “write it down,” educate your team and yourself
  • Everyone sells (We are all in sales!)
  • Everything we sell is high value/differentiated/branded
  • Everything changes all the time
  • Think bigger: “Why are my dreams for you bigger than your dreams for you?”
  • Make a friend, make a sale.

We all need to make our own rules. We need to go within and trust that we know what is best without following the exact path of what others do and how others live. Making our own rules is empowering, liberating and beautiful.

After I left the conference, I thought of creating my list of non-negotiables. Here goes….

  1. Give myself permission to DREAM big and DO big
  2. To laugh: laugh hard, long and often…so much it hurts the belly
  3. Be accountable to myself and others. If I say I’m going to do it and by when, you have my word.
  4. Surround myself with amazing humans and seek out like-minded people with big hearts, giving natures and who show up for me
  5. Spend time nurturing relationships that are good for the heart and mind.
  6. Do things that spread love
  7. Practice gratitude and kindness and live in the moment every single day
  8. Embrace quiet time
  9. Find hobbies that make me money, keep me in shape and let me be creative
  10. Live with integrity, giving, passion and patience
  11. Teach my kids to practice kindness and problem-solving skills
  12. Have at least one meal as a day as a family
  13. Write everything down
  14. Meet someone new at every occasion. You never know how small the world is and what you’ll learn
  15. Read. Everyday. A curious mind reads a lot and ask more questions than stating opinions
  16. Stand up for others and myself. I deserve it
  17. Make this life one hell of a ride. I’ve only got one shot

I’d love to know what your own non-negotiable rules are … what would you put on your list?