Have you ever seen nations, organizations, or teams that have their rules and regulations broken very often? Check the laws. Laws create cultures!
It’s good to have rules and regulations but to depend majorly on threats and punishments for good performance can be counterproductive in the long run.
The majority of today’s successful leaders find ways to get peoples’ commitments to their vision through effective communication of shared benefits. It’s mostly the people’s commitments that drive performance, not the threats.
Why is lateness and absenteeism an issue in your team? Why is motivation low and performance poor despite all your efforts? Why does it seem like people no longer care about the penalties they face for non-compliance in your organization?
Did you ever notice that it seems the people don’t care anymore about queries and punishments, as if they are telling you to do your worst? Did you notice that overhead cost is increasing without corresponding increase in productivity?
You are not alone, God experienced it too. To solve the problem, He examined, then changed his leadership style; that was when He got the result He desired. You will get the same result if you check yours too.
As it concerns leadership, one of the most interesting lessons in the bible is God’s change of leadership style at different dispensations. Am I saying God changed His style?
Emphatically yes. He did!
We would look at this in relation with organizational and team leadership so we can drive the point home for pragmatic relevance.
In the beginning, the bible shows God as the big CEO with the ultimate unilateral power to hire, punish, reward and fire.
He created (hired) Adam and gave him rules, fired him when he messed up, punished Cain as well and recognized Abel for doing well.
Although there were no questions or objections from any quarter, Adam’s non-compliance was a foundation for things to come. As the world’s population (number of employees) grew, the list of people with non-compliance attitudes also grew.
God fired Noah’s generation, hired Abraham who had a succession plan in Isaac and Jacob.
By the time Moses led the people out of Egypt, not only had non-compliance grown, the people were already showcasing the desire to be involved in decision making, but that was not God’s style at the time. He called the shots alone!
So, he kept punishing and firing anyone who didn’t align with his leadership dictates. But for how long did that management style succeed?
Unfortunately, the punishments didn’t deter the people from disobeying. They continued in their noncompliance and he continued to dish out the punishments.
In fact they got so used to the punishments till God got tired. Importantly, his purpose (organizational vision/mission) which was fellowship, continued to suffer. He knew there was a need to change the modus operandi of the contract.
He effected the change in the New Testament (change management). He got a new CEO (Jesus), who went after the people to endear them to Himself (employee engagement); He immediately signed a series of incentives into law and established a management style no longer based on threats or punishments but on affection, mutual interest and continual dialogue (collective bargaining).
It became a management system based on partnership and freedom. No more hard rules. Consequently, compliance has since improved significantly, productivity has also gone up and most importantly, the vision is being achieved (stakeholders’ satisfaction). The new leadership style worked!
Did you notice that Jesus didn’t condemn or punish anyone except the executors of the law (Pharisees & Sadducees i.e. top management staff)? A lot has to do with the rules and those who execute them, than those who obey them. He drew people close to Himself and still runs a successful system thousands of years after (succession planning).
Learn from God, embrace mutual consent to rules and regulations, put threats aside and place people first, then, you will enjoy lasting commitments through effective communication of your vision.
IF THREATS AND PUNISHMENTS DIDN’T WORK WITH GOD, THEY WON’T WORK FOR YOU!
Lastly, remember that just the way the organization (no matter the nature) has objectives to achieve, so do its people have goals to achieve. Mutual understanding produces the results!
Thanks for reading, see you at the top!
About the author
Richard Uwamari – Richardizm is a certified management consultant and leads the team at hrm2day.com. He is also the consulting partner at Richystar Consulting limited, a management consulting firm based in Lagos Nigeria.
Having been in the HR industry for over a decade now, with experience in several areas in the field, he’s contributed his expertise in servicing several local and international organizations. Asides his great knowledge in other areas of the management consulting field, Richard remains one of the best names to mention when it comes to employee engagement.