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Punishment and Compliance

Plenty of Managers like to use the stick.  You do something wrong, you get hammered for it.


But does punishment really result in compliance?  Sure the person might do what they are asked but if you whack them with a stick to get it done I would say you don’t get true compliance.


On the surface you see the action but you lose their faith, their belief, their trust.  Instead of leadership all you have done is create fear.


This may have worked in the time of Machiavelli who said that if you couldn’t get the people to “love” you then “fear” would be the next best thing.


But Machiavelli lived in a small time when options were few and compliance might have meant life or death.  Options, however, are now plentiful and many people will simply decide not to put up with the bullshit.  A manager using constant fear and punishment is not building an organization.  They are breeding a disloyal disaster in the making.


So what’s the answer?  People are going to do things wrong.  People are going to screw up.  But how about instead of punishment you take the opportunity to teach?  To try and make each person who comes through your door better.


There will certainly be some people you bring into your organization that won’t fit, that have to leave, but for those with heart, who have the desire to be better, you should take it as your personal mission to make them better.  If they stay they will be awesome for your firm.  If they leave, then you hope they go out into the world and help others get better along the way.


Now that’s a lot better than a poke with a sharp stick.


Cheers

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