My friend and advisor, Mary Ellen Slayter, asked me to write my business rules. She said it’s important to understand my personal values, and limits, as I run a new company.

I had two immediate thoughts.

1. No dicks.
2. Don’t boss me.

It’s not the most articulate set of business principles, for sure, but I did some journaling and the rest of my list is an offshoot of my original beliefs.

“I don’t want to be hassled.”

I mean it. I didn’t quit my cushy corporate job with PTO and benefits to manage someone else’s irrational feelings. I want to create a professional community where adults go to work and don’t bother one another. I think that falls under the “no dicks” rule.

“Kindness trumps competency.”

Is that true? In the age of epicene management styles, most of us forget that you can be businesslike and formal without being a dick. And you don’t have to boss me — and I don’t have to boss you — if everyone shows up and does a good job.

As I reread through my notes, I can see that I’m living in a utopian dream world where adults behave and govern themselves. Clearly, I’ve been out of HR for too long.

But “no dicks” and “don’t boss me” are the twin underpinnings of my business and management philosophies, and they are here to stay. I might also add that birthdays are sacrosanct, and snacks are mandatory, but I don’t have the budget for snacks.

Maybe we can eat cookies and cupcakes in 2017!