The Rule of 5: Leadership & E5 Movement by Paul Dupuis


The Rule of 5 gives a framework called E5 that leaders can use to be effective leaders. What I liked all about this framework is that it does not offer a One Size Fit All kind of pill for leadership. It gives the framework as a guideline that you must customize or tweak and use for your own situation.

Rule of 5 by Paul DupuisThe author has written the book from his own experience that spans Canada, Japan, and India. People who have lived in different parts of the world and those who have traveled always have a wider outlook towards life. This clearly shows in the approach that Paul Dupuis has taken. His insights and recommendations have glimpses of ancient Asian wisdom as he talks about Kaizen and Jugaad in the same sentence. He takes his lessons not just from other corporate leaders but from leaders in sports and other walks of life.

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Let me share some of the points in the book that I connected well with:

Step out of your comfort zone at regular intervals

Competent Managers ‘Maintain’. They and protect and defend and work hard to maintain the status quo. Leaders on the other hand work on changing the status quo.

Leadership as an Open-Source Model, where you pick up nuggets of wisdom from wherever you can, add your own experience, flavor it with the need of the hour, and make your own concoction. While the base framework would remain the same, you have your own version of it. It is like the classical music of India, where the framework of a Raga is well defined, but how you play within these boundaries is absolutely left to the performer.

Students of Leadership

Game-changing leaders are students of leadership, which means they are always looking forward to learning from anyone and every situation possible. They are also inherently restless, looking for new opportunities to explore. Those who fit in a box do not change the world. At various places, he compares leaders to teachers, coaches, mentors, storytellers, and of course managers who must ensure delivery.

Read More – Dream with Your Eyes Open by Ronnie Screwvala

Leadership is timeless and borderless across cultures and eras. At the same time, it is a sword that needs to be sharpened constantly.

No, Try Not. Do or Not Do. I think this is one of my favorite phrases in the book. Try hangs somewhere in the middle. Do what needs to be done or don’t do anything.

Our failures become our success when we learn from them and make an effort to improve. This was music to my ears. These days there is a trend to celebrate failure, but what people forget is that you only celebrate a failure that you have turned around into a success story.

When you talk about 30,000 feet view, remember the real action is on the ground.

Read More – Arthashastra – The Science of Wealth by Thomas R Trautmann

Leaders walk a lot. I would add that they not only walk they also read a lot and they also travel a lot. I must add that author does quote from a lot of books that he has read and from his travels across the globe. It is far more convincing when you know that author is adding his own experience to what he shares about his beliefs.

Honor the past and focus on the future

Honor the past and focus on the future – a great reminder. Many innovation leaders tell you to discard the past and start afresh from ground zero. They forget that roots are important to growing. Best growth comes when you learn from the past, build upon what is already there, and not by cutting yourself off from it.

Kaizen meets Jugaad is interesting to read. He brings in two opposing concepts from Japan and India respectively and talks about how each is important and plays its role in the organizations.

Read More – Jugaad Innovation by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, Simone Ahuja

Best way to kill curiosity

SOP or Standard Operating Procedures are the best way to kill curiosity. Tell me about it. Nothing kills creativity more than putting everything in a tight box with no scope for even maneuvering.

Apart from his E5 framework, Paul also introduces concepts like DAT or Day After Tomorrow, but I would let you discover them by reading the book.

Overall, The Rule of 5 is an interesting read, with some nuggets to pick up. What you do with those nuggets is completely up to you.

If you are a leader or want to be a leader, read it.

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