If There Is Something You Want You Must Position Yourself Such That You Can Deny Them What They Want Until They Give You What You Want

Some things are so basic we fail to see them because of their simplicity. Pleading with people to do the right thing seldom produces results. If you want to get your way, follow the principle that people only do something if there is something in it for them. Let's look at some examples:

• In the US we have a problem with motorists speeding past schools. Radar speed traps are tried but they are expensive and are frequently abandoned. Signs don't work. In some parts of Mexico they don't have the problem. On both sides of the school they put in huge road bumps and a simple sign saying "BUMP". Let them speed. All that will happen is they will harm their car.

• Many years ago the manufacturer of explosives had frequent explosions in the plant, resulting in loss of life and expensive damage, due to a lack of enforcement of safety regulations by the factory foremen. The problem was solved by requiring the foremen and their families to live in houses immediately adjacent to the factory.

• A group of managers were required to periodically meet to set priorities on the use of resources shared by all of them. Getting them to attend the meetings was a problem. Easy solution. They passed a policy requiring resources not to be assigned to any department that does not attend the meeting. Get the rules changed so people can't get what they want until they satisfy your requirements. Their natural desire to get their needs met removes the need for policing.

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved