The definition of a rule is “one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct or procedure within a particular area of activity, exercising control of or dominion over an area or people”.
Basically, rules are designed and implemented to direct, control and modify behaviour. As societies evolve and become more civilised rules imposed by brute force and intimidation gradually give way to imposed control via laws and legislation. These are introduced and imposed by the same people who advocated violence when it was generally accepted (if not by those on the receiving end) as a legitimate and effective means of managing and controlling the populace.
In any civilised society there has to be an appropriate legislative structure in place to ensure stability, public safety and socially acceptable codes of conduct and behaviour, whilst safeguarding our human rights. All well and good, but with every right comes a personal responsibility in the way the person exercises those God-State given rights, and history shows very clearly society supports and rewards those who play by society’s rules. Organisations work on the same basic principles if on a smaller scale, those seen as a team player often reap benefits denied to equally talented individuals for no other reason than they know how to play the corporate game and “get with the programme”. Gifted or talented personnel who may appear individualistic in their approach are often labeled a “loose cannon” for their perceived cavalier approach. Their attitude and behaviour is responsive as opposed to reactive, so each situation may require a different solution instead of a one size/reaction fits all, for no other reason it’s what the rule book, training manual demands.
Loose canons are perceived as an unknown quantity, unpredictable and unreliable from the point of view of the inability of corporate rules and regulations to control what they think and how they behave. Instead they tend to be guided by their own thoughts, beliefs, life experience and values. We are conditioned throughout life to fit in, comply and follow the rules, from parental guidance, educational development to social responsibility and conformity, yet when life or circumstances require us to think ‘’outside of the box’’ it is usually the initiative wild card who steps up, gets the job done and saves the day. In that moment the personal doubts and uncertainty disappear as their unique approach and individuality is vindicated. In dealing with the situation before them they chose not to just go with what the book says and find the courage to trust their own judgement. A judgement based on personal and relevant life experience, knowledge and understanding.
This is a decision many therapists, practitioners and teachers face on a regular basis in the way they work or instruct their students. Tradition has its place but the fact something is defined as…