Bylaws, Rules and Regulations OH MY

You know those ridiculous situations and hypotheticals that exist in every employee handbook? I.E. – Don’t bring your elephant into work on the third Wednesday…or… don’t feed the digital team sugar on Fridays? Yeah – those. Ok, so maybe they’re not THAT bizarre, but if you take the time to read through any employee handbook, you’ll see what I mean. Every time you read through these, you think to yourself, who would do that??

Well my friends, rules and regulations exist for a reason. As was proven to me this weekend, there are people in this world who actually DO the ridiculous things you couldn’t imagine anyone doing. Yeah, you heard me right, people actually do these things. Rules and regulations are just as much reactive as precautionary.

The older I get, the more I realize, High School never really ends. In college, I blamed my drama filled life on the fact I was president of 120 girls in a sorority. Three years removed, the drama just keeps on coming. I’m not even going to comment on what drives people to act the way they do, because I’d just be at a loss for words, It’s important to remember, while you can’t explain human behavior, you can (try) to prevent it. Enter rules and regulations.

Bylaws, Rules and Regulations OH MY

When in a leadership position, sometimes you just have to shake your head and carry on. That is exactly what I had to do this weekend. Waking up to wild claims via 1:30am drunk emails is never the way to start your morning, let alone a MONDAY morning, but, life doesn’t always deal you a winning hand. The first thing I did was read over the emails again. I processed and then began to search for more information. Always remember, there are two sides to every story, no matter how outlandish that story may be.

After you access, react. In this case I was dealing with a communication breakdown (and not the awesome Led Zeppelin song). Never take a situation at face value, dig into it, and extract the details before making an informed decision.

It’s important in every organization to have a living document of rules and regulations, for situations when new rules need to be added on the fly. Writing the rules are easy but rolling them out can be tricky. There are bound to be inquisitive souls in your organization, so do yourself a favor and squash questions from the beginning. Send out a limited statement, clarify the points are not up for discussion and outline the new changes.

This definitely won’t prevent people from talking, rumors always fly, but this way the issue will be addressed top to bottom instead of letting the rumor mill turn.

Need a refresher on how to write bylaws? Check out this quick guide here. Good luck! Leadership isn’t easy, but if you add in rules and regulations, you might just save yourself a headache or two.


  1. If you all were curious about that 1:30 a.m. email, it was me asking if my pet elephant Jimmysauraus is eligible to attend our next event. Clearly she did not take my request seriously.

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