The carrot called privilege

20 06 2016

“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

People often confuse rights with privileges.  Americans don’t have the right to happiness.  We have the right to the PURSUIT OF happiness.  That means that we have the right to work towards attaining happiness.  True happiness is a privilege, and privileges are things that you must work to retain.

Leaders, feel free to remind your teams of the difference when they feel like they deserve some privilege.  For example, we’ve had lots of requests from our team asking us to make telecommuting available to all employees.  While we allow telecommuting, we do so with the top performers, and with the understanding that if their performance slips, they’ll lose that privilege.  Under-performers are unlikely to improve their work without direct management nearby.  Explaining to employees who want to work from home that they must first work to improve their performance before enjoying the reward that comes with high performance might just be the carrot that they need to get better, as the stick (progressive discipline) is often not the best motivator.

Speaking of losing…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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