One has to wonder…

Posted October 17, 2008 in Latest News & Insights

So, the economy is heading down the toilet… every where you turn the articles in the paper are preaching doom and gloom.  One would think that leaders who are under pressure to continue to push performance in a tough economy –  with increasingly skittish employees to boot – would be doing everything they could do keep their staff engaged in a POSITIVE way.

Think again.

This week I was speaking to an ambitious young accountant who’s CEO has decided to turn up the heat during the downturn and using the highly motivational tactic of fear an intimidation to try and push performance.

Why do some leaders continue to think that this type of fear mongering, bullying approach works?

The young accountant in question has been with the company 3 years busting his proverbial behind for 12 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week.  In his words “I don’t need to be intimidated into doing what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years – which no one had to ask me to do.”

No kidding.

This whole “rule by intimidation” may have been a great tactic back in the day when a bizzillion baby boomers were vying for jobs and, “hey, if you didn’t want to step up and do it, then 100 others will”.  But those days are long gone.

Gen X and Gen Y just won’t put up with the BS… their boots were made for walking and, especially for the ambitious young guns like my accounting friend, they’ll put ’em on and march out the door faster than you can say “employee engagement survey.”

Boosting performance in tough times requires compassion, communication and consideration… not intimidation, insecurity and insults.

Great things can happen to teams in tough times when leaders focus on fighting the war on the outside not creating wars on the inside.

So now my ambitious young accountant is actively looking for a new challenge…all because of a leader who decided to break what wasn’t broken.

One has to wonder…


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