The Chinese Communist Party probably isn’t the first place you go to look for advice on how managers should behave. But those bureaucrats might just have something here.  

This whole preposterous story got started when Communist Party officials issued a list of “10 forbidden behaviors” to minor functionaries in Pengshan County, described in a Washington Post story as a district of 340,000 people in Sichuan province.

The guidance was apparently sparked by area residents complaining about local officials taking advantage of their positions in various ways. These activities apparently included ordering underlings to do their work, parking illegally, and — really? — throwing trash out the windows of their cars. Oh, and there was this thing about picking their teeth in public.

Here are the official rules:

  1. It is not allowed to flatter or kiss the ass of one’s superior: One must express one’s real views.
  2.  It is not allowed to make inspection trips in a cursory way, and it is not allowed to bring any unnecessary accompanying personnel during such trips.
  3.  It is not allowed to use jargon while making speeches: Clear points should be made.
  4.  It is not allowed to be a “hands-off” boss.
  5.  It is not allowed to ask others to write one’s personal documents.
  6.  It is not allowed to act high and mighty in front of the masses or subordinates. It is not allowed to fold hands behind one’s back, curse or point fingers while talking to the masses.
  7.  It is not allowed to make empty promises or say “I don’t know” or “Don’t ask me” to the masses when they try to make an inquiry.
  8.  It is not allowed to ask others to carry bags, pour tea, open or close car doors; it is not allowed to throw trash from the car windows.
  9. It is not allowed to smoke or to pick one’s teeth in the public; it is not allowed to be sloppily dressed.
  10. It is not allowed to bully people at the compound one lives in; it is not allowed to postpone paying the property management fees or to park illegally.

The rules drew a lot of derision on Chinese social media. Check out a few of the comments, courtesy of the Post:

“They need to be taught such simple things? These officials should go back to primary school to start over.”

“It looks really funny, but it’s pretty sad when you think about it. Many of these 10 prohibitions are basic moral rules of human beings. Are these cadres not humans? Only such an explanation makes sense.”

“In a civilized society, officials should be anyway be governed by some basic principles of conduct.  Ridiculous officials, ridiculous government and ridiculous society.”

The rules are, indeed, ridiculous … but anybody who’s been around long enough to watch managers in action knows they’re not that far off the mark.

‘Don’t be a jerk’

Rex Huppke, who writes on workplace matters for the Chicago Tribune, opined that “I think a similar list should be created, de-communisted and issued to managers in every American workplace.”

So he offered a de-communisted version. Here’s a sampling:

  • Don’t smoke or pick your teeth in public. (Kind of a no-brainer, but worth including, just in case. Hat tip to the Chinese.)
  • Don’t rely on jargon.
  • Don’t be dodgy.
  • Don’t do the once-a-month walkabout.
  • Don’t call too many meetings.
  • Don’t be a jerk.
  • Don’t think too highly of yourself.
  • Don’t rely solely on this list.

Makes sense to us.

Post Your Resume to 65+ Job Sites
Resume Service

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post