Jingle Jangle Rule

When I first got started in real estate, I worked for my father’s firm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

One night Dad (nicknamed Chubby), and I were brainstorming at the office, discussing several ideas to bring in more clients. I casually suggested that we run these ideas by our 100+ agents at the next sales meeting.

To this day I remember precisely how how Chubby responded:

“Greg,” he said firmly, “most people are uncomfortable with indecision and uncertainty. They need laser-sharp focus and firm direction from leadership. This is true in business, politics, and even raising kids.

If we constantly ‘float’ ideas to everyone in the company, they will individually start worrying about how it impacts them personally and they will have an array of varied opinions. Some will get hurt feelings if their recommendations aren’t well received..

Productivity will drop and we’ll be consumed with assuring everyone that things will be okay.”.

“A leader is one who knowws the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” –John C. Maxwell.

Chubby went on to explain that the best companies are almost always in flux at the top. That’s OK. Good leaders explore creative ideas. but, they are thoughtful about who they bounce those ideas off of, limiting it to a select group.

When an Idea is vetted and finally deemed good enough to become a different direction for the company, it is announced with great fanfare (and planning). It is promoted as a new and amazing “certainty” that will take the company (and its employees) to a higher level. 

This new direction must be intelligently and articulately presented as a well thought out plan that’s good for everyone in the company..

Chubby then concluded by saying, “Jingle ’til you jangle.”.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” –Rosalynn Carter


The Jingle Jangle Rule doesn’t mean we don’t discuss creative ideas with others. I do it all the time with my core group, and their input helps me make better decisions for my company (72SOLD).

But I am careful to limit my “sounding board” to carefully chosen few, never a generalized discussion with many. 

This lesson applies beyond business. I used it to raise my three sons. Great political leaders use it to govern well (and win elections).

From inspiring speakers to bestselling writers to revered religious figures, they don’t project uncertainty and indecision. Leaders know that people don’t follow uncertainty..

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” –Martin luther King, Jr.

The bottom line: Discuss creative ideas, new directions, and lofty goals with your core group of just a select few “advisors” until you make a firm decision and develop a bullet proof plan for announcing and implementing (jingle), THEN roll it out to everyone with great enthusiasm and absolute certainty of success (jangle).

In other words, “Jingle ’til you jangle.”