Leaders Need Only 1 Rule

In the confusing maelstrom of leadership definitions, there is really only one rule that counts

Trevor E Hudson
9 min readFeb 25, 2020

In a world where so many social media articles seem to whore themselves out with ever reducing ‘listicles’, I decided to jump straight to the front of the queue and go for only 1 rule.

What’s more I actually believe it.

Can One Rule Ever Be Enough?

Let me first give the precedence of only one rule: Ockham’s Razor. I have talked about this before and it is a damn good rule, Adapted by Francis Bacon (philosopher not the painter, although who knows), Isaac Newton and every single episode of House amongst others. It is a very simple logical device to keep people on the reasoning straight and arrow: The most straightforward paraphrase is ‘the explanation that covers most of the observable phenomenon is probably the right one’. Elegant isn’t it?

House: Not familiar with most razors.

This doesn’t mean that one rule can tell you everything you need to know. That would be ridiculous.

Let’s not forget many companies live by the 1-rule approach. Google’s “Don’t be Evil” is a famous example. And whilst they’ve come under fire for this, the clearly more evil behaviours of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have left Google relatively unscathed in the ‘who’s the evilest?’ critiques. Would they have been on the 'more right’ side without their golden rule? Who knows.

How it came about

I call the rule affectionately and egotistically ‘Hudson’s Razor’ and it came about as a result of hundreds of manager training days. I have always tried to get ahead of the management curve. The problem with my training was the participants. That’s right my stupid delegates were making it hard for me to impart my genius. It really wasn’t fair. But it also wasn’t their fault. The problem was they’d been conditioned to believe, through organisational culture, through education, and through the day job that in order to do something well you had to emulate those who’ve done it…



Trevor E Hudson

Leadership, wisdom and the new world of work. wodenwisdom.com