Dua Lipa's 'New Rules,' Not Just Breakup Song but Practical Business Lesson

Jun 5 , 2021
By Million Kibret

In 2017, the English singer Dula Lipa released a single entitled “New Rules,” which immediately became famous due to its beat, electropop, and unique lyrics. The song was praised as a female empowerment piece. What few noticed is that this song can also be adopted by entrepreneurs and businesspersons looking for vibrant and successful business ventures. The song enumerates steps to free oneself from an unproductive lifestyle and to lead happier and successful ones.

Lesson one is "do not pick up the phone."

The advent of the mobile phone has benefited us immensely, channelling information from the wide world to our fingertips with minimal costs. Distances have now become irrelevant to keep closer to our friends and families. Not to mention valuable business transactions conducted using the mobile phone. It has enabled us to lead a posh life with less effort and swift services. Thanks to the mobile phone, an ordinary person now has privileges unthinkable for kings and queens 100 years ago.

However, the mobile phone is not without its costs. Continuous and incessant distraction is one of the priceless costs being paid by individuals using mobile phones. Focus and attention are among the most valuable resources for a businessperson to run a successful venture. The mobile phone has made all events and activities from all corners of the world accessible to one another and calling for our immediate attention. We determine whether a post from a connection or a connection’s connection is valuable or not after it has grabbed our attention and once it has diverted our focus.

The remedy is to resist our temptation and to limit our access to mobile phones. We must earmark specific periods for our access to handphones to keep a laser focus on our businesses. Time is the scarcest resource of our era, which cannot be stored for later utilisation. Unwavering focus is what makes or breaks a business organisation. Our distance from our mobile phones can determine the distance our business ventures can travel. The wisdom is: do not pick up the phone whenever it wishes to ring and use it only when we need valuable business information and interaction. Our focus and attention are the most valuable raw materials for our business.

Lesson two is "do not let him in."

Management guru Peter Drucker nailed it with his famous words, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Culture gets into a business organisation, sleek and unobserved, and becomes the most significant leader in determining the mode of operation and fate of a company. Organisations should be extremely vigilant every day not to let in bad culture, which takes no time to sprawl throughout a firm and become a dominant factor of unproductivity. Building a progressive culture of open communications, curiosity for continuous improvement and a laser focus on customer needs and wants is like building a moat to make it difficult to cross into a castle.

Many companies had their strategies developed by renowned global management firms, which could not save them from the downward spiral of bad cultures under their roofs. Formidable brands became textbook references of corporate bankruptcy and insolvency due to superegos and complacencies, resulting from the colourless and odourless bad culture.

Lesson three is "don’t be his friend."

Most of our active time is dedicated to either friends or families. It is a biological fact that one cannot choose brothers and sisters. Closer or farther, they will be with us during our lifetimes. We can, however, choose friends. Friends matter in a significant way during our adult lives. It has been observed that closer friends have similar lifestyles, leading to comparable successes and failures, simply because they learn from one another. Our friends are more potent than our formal teachers in impacting our lives and in determining our fates. Therefore, do not let everyone who is getting accidentally closer be a close friend. Choose friends carefully. Friendship determines destiny in our personal and business lives.

With those lyrics that package neatly into valuable business lessons, the song sums it up with the most practical approach to embody our plans and strategies: breathe the plans. It is an open secret that most of our new year resolutions are meant only for our notebooks. We forget about our strategies the moment we finish our writing. The song prescribes the foolproof way of implementing strategies: eat, sleep and breathe it. Rehearse it and repeat it.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 05,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1101]

Million Kibret is managing partner at BDO Consulting Plc. He can be reached at million.kibret@bdo-ea.com.

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