Carrot versus stick


I love motivating people, leading a team, watching people succeed. I am just not perfect at – because if I were then 100% of my team would function 100% of the time to 100% of their capacity. Right?


And they don’t. Which is really frustrating. Because as you know there is no way I can build what I am trying to build without the efforts of a motivated collective. I need to get people to do stuff for me. And I know if I say I am going to do something then it happens. I am at least 98% reliable. And other people just aren’t.


From directors, to team members to franchisees – people just don’t function as well as I do. So what can you do about it to increase your success percentiles? It’s all about the judicious use of CARROT and STICK.


And I like carrot – and am very reluctant to use stick – but once I do its loud, public and the thwack will echo for days. Because my whole collective need to know I am deadly serious.


When it comes to motivation you need to get people to buy into your vision, share your destiny, make sure it positively impacts on them and make sure you look at their individual motivations to motivate them – because its not all about the money for most people. That’s why I chose the franchise model. Because I thought the Shared Success model would mean everyone was 100% behind what we were doing. But I soon learnt, like Jack Welsh at GE, that we have a 1/3 a 1/3 a 1/3 syndrome going on here and I am spending lots of time with carrots – when actually I should be using the stick on the bottom third – and they either improve or they go – simple as that. A 1/3 a1/3 a 1/3 is this – a 1/3 of people will super succeed, a 1/3 will be adequate and a 1/3 will fail or will leave. Its quite high stats for failure but if you wish to build an elite team you have to recruit MORE and expect to lose more in finding your crack team. And the rest of your team need to know this is what you are doing.


We had an incident lately of poor admin through out the network. My team had asked cajoled and indeed pleaded for people to take the admin deadlines seriously – to which a 1/3 a 1/3 a 1/3 applied. Enough of the carrot. Last month I sent out a bollocking letter introducing a new fine system which got a few complaints admittedly – but we had 100% deadlines achieved. This month 4 depots failed on the deadline and all 4 will get fined. The fines are sufficiently onerous to ensure it won’t happen again – and if it does my team is compensated for the overtime they then have to put in to sort it out. Basically the carrot wasn’t working so I had to use the stick.


Today I will be terminating a franchise – the guy has totally taken the piss – and I will be pursuing him personally for the balance of the rest of his franchise payment and his franchise fees for the 3 years he signed up for. I will do so and then communicate it to the rest of the network – so they too know it is a real possibility if people don’t adhere to the rules that I will terminate also.


We are mostly very nice in business – you have to be – no one really wants to work for an arsehole. But don’t limit your business growth potential by being a soft touch. It would be nice to think that people will always work they way they should. But if you budget for a 1/3 a 1/3 a 1/3 principle and use carrot and stick in the 2/3 to a 1/3 ratio then I am thinking you can increase your future success. Actually writing this has outlined that I have been a bit of a soft touch of late so I am off to kick some butts – beware all at Diamond!


Have a great day!