Three Snake Rule

James Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape, was a charismatic manager whose maxims endeared him to his employees. One of his favorites was formulated at a management retreat soon after he took over Netscape. It's known as his three-snake rule:

The first rule: If you see a snake, kill it. Don't set up a snake committee. Don't set up a snake user group. Don't write snake memos. Kill it.

The second rule: Don't play with dead snakes. (Don't revisit decisions.)

The paradoxical third: All opportunities start out looking like snakes.


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