Carrots and Sticks

There's an old debate involving carrots and sticks about how to motivate the behavior you want in others.

Is it more effective to incentivize people with a carrot? Or to inspire fear in them by brandishing a stick?

A stick might get you the short term results you wanted, but I think most of us would agree that we'd rather find motivation in joy, rather than fear.

People remember how you treat them. Want to build trust and confidence in your leadership? Consider which approach is most sustainable.

This quote, typically attributed to French writer and aviator Antoine St. ExupΓ©ry (though perhaps not exactly his words), reminds us that there is no substitute for inspiring others:

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.


Reflections on creating systems to sustainably grow your impact on the world.
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