“Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Scott's Notes | 0 comments

“Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz


The four agreements are these: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. It’s the how and why one should do these things that make The Four Agreements worth reading and remembering. –P. Randall Cohan

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Scott’s Notes

Is it ever too late for a new year’s resolution?

We had our TGR 2016 planning meeting not too long ago, with the help of David Dibble from New Agreements, Inc., who did a great job facilitating our discussions.


In fact, right now, you’re probably all finishing your 2016 kick-off or planning meetings – they are the business equivalent of New Year’s resolutions.  The irony, of course, is that many times they are held in places like Vegas and Miami, so there goes all the personal resolutions: eat better, exercise regularly sleep more, drink less, out the window.

While I hadn’t previously been familiar with the Four Agreements suggested by Don Miguel Ruiz:

  • Be Impeccable with Your Word….and first with your thoughts
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally
  • Don’t Make Assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best


or David’s Four New Agreements,

1 Find your purpose

2 Love, Grow, and serve others

3 Be a systems thinker

4 Practice a little every day


Collectively, I was probably conscientious or at least conscious about 7 of the 8 of them.


The one that I probably was less attuned to?  “Be a systems thinker”.  Since then, I’ve really tried to be more aware of the systems that are all around us.


For us at TGR Partners, we are deliberate (“purposeful”) about explaining our Executive Search System as one of the key benefits for the clients and candidates with whom we work .  That system infuses the 4 agreements and new agreements into everything we do.


And, by the way, a corollary to the system’s thinking concept is George Land’s Transformation Theory (and, yes, I took the “easy” way out with the Wikipedia link here).  If you buy into this theory, you come to accept that everything is always changing.  In other words, that is simply natural law.  It’s often summarized in business as the “S curve” of technology innovation.


Here’s the thing:  It’s not just true in business, it’s true in life…in the last week alone, I’ve been exposed to examples of it in sports, at a specific level, describing the sustained success of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning (where the author compares them to Madonna) and at a macro level with Delaware North’s commissioned study on the future of sports (here’s the full report).  And in entertainment – Jamie Foxx in this great podcast with Tim Ferris talks about how his biggest challenge as a performer is himself and not resting on his laurels.  Of course, it’s all around us in the business world too: Since we regularly place Sales Leaders for our clients, I’m reading about the transformation Sales Organizations may require due to significant internal or external disruptions or underperformance relative to expectations based on other factors.


So what?  What should all this mean to us? Since three is the magic number (and about all I can easily remember, I’d ask you to pose these three questions as you make business and personal plans for 2016:

  • Do you buy into the idea that systems (natural AND man-made) govern our world, i.e. they are all around us whether we are conscious of them or not?
  • Do you think that change is inevitable for improvement, or even just sustainability and existence?
  • How does that impact how you view your business/company? Your industry, career, profession?  How you live your life on a day to day basis and your long term views?