Monday, December 14, 2009

Carrot & the Stick

Theodore Roosevelt in a speech in 1903 said: There is a homely old adage which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." If the American nation will speak softly, and yet build and keep at a pitch of the highest training a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far. It has become clear to me that when working in consulting and advocacy, you have to be familiar with both the "carrot" and the "stick." Both are required to help clients or produce effective change. It is also true when dealing with government or advocating for any substantial change.

The carrot, obviously, is the incentive to achieve more, accomplish a goal and the reward at the end. Sometimes it is money, but realize that motivations for people are different. You may want to ensure they hear words of thanks and praise. They may wish public recognition, rewards of some type or a special title. Be sure you actively listen to what individuals, clients and even enemies may want out of a given interaction. Then once identified, connect to your eventual goal - how can they help you get there.

The stick you use to defend yourself, those you care about and to strongly demonstrate not only your willingness to act, but your ability to back up your words with action. Consequences can help others identify why they need to be on your team and not opposed. There is no need to show that stick to threaten, but when you do use it: strike hard, fast and without hesitation.

Each of us has goals and objectives. Using the carrot and stick as two sides of the same coin will result in optimal results.

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