Reversing Alinsky’s rules

In Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky laid out 13 principles that can be used in zero-sum game political settings to discourage and defeat enemies.

Alas, this approach is often used by both sides in just about any issue, and tears away at civil discourse. When you're so sure you're right that you're willing to burn things down, it turns out that everyone is standing in a burning building sooner or later.

What happens if we reverse the rules?

1. Put people to work. It’s even more effective than money.
2. Challenge your people to explore, to learn and to get comfortable with uncertainty.
3. Find ways to help others on the path find firm footing.
4. Help others write rules that allow them to achieve their goals.
5. Treat the others the way you’d want to be treated.
6. Don’t criticize for fun. Do it when helps educate, even if it’s not entertaining.
7. Stick with your tactics long after everyone else is bored with them. Only stop when they stop working.
8. It’s okay to let the pressure cease now and then. People will pay attention to you and the change you seek when they are unable to consistently ignore it.
9. Don’t make threats. Do or don’t do.
10. Build a team with the capacity and the patience to do the work that needs doing.
11. If you bring your positive ideas to the fore, again and again, you’ll raise the bar for everyone else.
12. Solve your own problems before you spend a lot of time finding problems for the others.
13. Celebrate your people, free them to do even more, make it about the cohort and invite everyone along. Disagree with institutions, not with people.