The Syntax of Self-Direction

Their title:

Seek insight, not perfection

I remember my first writing teachers explaining the "rules" of the English language as if there were some governing body composed of dictionary editors laying down the law on various matters syntactical and grammatical:

pretending that thoughts don't easily slide from one to another making random connections to form new ideas, conjoining two apparently disparate themes into a coherent whole such as processes of self-directed work teams and the creation of grammatical rules which are almost as arbitrary as punctuation -- something needed only after the invention of the printing press and the subsequent spread of reading by commoners which required codification so anyone could easily understand articles written in any newspaper -- but like syntax and grammar, punctuation is not universal: there are several different style manuals such as Chicago's and Associated Press's which mandate usage of periods, commas, parentheses, footnotes, dashes and other inventions since their use is completely arbitrary, mere marks between words to delineate how people speak, for it is how we talk amongst ourselves that determines syntax, not some prescriptive dictionary written by a fascist lexicographer in an ivory tower because everyone speaks and if the person is understood then the grammar is good, perhaps not as well-spoken as it could be, but good enough to get a point across which is the point of descriptive dictionaries -- books that describe how people actually use language such as when talking Ebonics or using the mismatched pronouns in the commonly spoken
"each person talks to the best of their ability"
which may not be "officially" correct depending on to whom you speak, but is understandable so it works, a concept which should apply to self-directed work teams, some of which work well and some which don't, yet in my workplace we have prescribed ways of implementing teams: and if a team decides to direct itself in a different manner such as refusing to write a mission statement or deciding to subdivide into smaller, more effective teams they are immediately informed of the Rules of Self-Directed Work Teams and told to obey the training manuals which results in such oddities as teams writing and codifying their "team norms" (rule #7) into massive, unread tomes and in meetings members ask, "What are our norms for this situation?" and someone will look it up in the manual, a process as ridiculous as if a foreigner asked me "What are the social mores of Americans?" and I gave him a book by Emily Post or Howard Stern, neither of which explain anything because "our mores" are determined by all of us together, by how we truly interact amongst ourselves, not how we wish we would or say we should, just as good writing or speaking is determined by what is said, whether it's understandable with defensible logic or compelling emotions, whether the oratory moves the listener or the writing provides some insight to the reader, not whether the speaker enunciated proper English or the newspaper column is grammatically "bad" because it consists of one 600-word run-on sentence.