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Manage More Effectively Win employees over by using reason, not force.

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Ben Franklin noted in his autobiography that the beatings hereceived from his brother during his printing apprenticeship gavehim a lifetime suspicion of power. In particular, Franklin wassuspicious of power as manifested through force. Years after hisapprenticeship, Franklin concluded that force and reason areenemies of one another. Further, he suggested that every managermust choose either to be a reasonable manager or a forcefulmanager.

Here are a few signs that you're working in a force-centeredorganization instead of a reasonable organization:

  • You find yourself making more threats than commitments to yourstaff.
  • You catch yourself saying, "I don't want to hear yourreasons!"
  • You've come to believe that firing employees will solvemost of your problems.
  • Whoever yells the loudest wins the argument.
  • People are afraid of you.
  • People would rather do nothing than do the wrong thing.
  • Everyone checks with a supervisor before taking anyaction.
  • The only time people call upon reason is to tell you why theycan't do something.
  • You've stopped using monetary incentives to motivateachievement.

Modern managers must make a choice between two attitudes whenshaping the culture of their work teams or organizations. On theone hand, you can choose the "my way or the highway"school of management and gain the loyalty and compliance of youremployees through fear and intimidation. On the other hand, you canallow reason to rule your business and gain your staff'scooperation through persuasion and self-interest as Franklindid.

Excerpted from Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management

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