“A leader is a dealer in hope” ~Napoleon Bonaparte
The Axis of Manipulation: Gratitude & Disappointment
1. Gratitude From A God
* Having been both authority and employee, and hearing the private venting of both positions, I can confirm that getting the proverbial horse to drink boils down to these two buttons to push.
* This discourse is a take on the “fear and self-interest” levers attributed to Napoleon, but updated. The golden ratio is a negotiable 70/30, favoring gratitude. Now I agree with Napoleon and Machiavelli on being feared and using fear, but I find that the fear-lever is a worn out and tired trick in this day and age. Useful, but hackneyed.
* With the various fear-mongering tactics, the actual things to fear, and the ready access and constant stream of both, fear is ineffective. Out of fear, everyone says sorry, and hardly anyone says thank you. Consider this an untapped market to exploit.
* Combine the narcissism of Selfies, people marrying themselves out of loneliness, the birth rates plummeting, and you have the need to be loved skyrocketing: emotions like flowers, needing water, and the sunlight of recognition. Hit this spot the right way and you take on a noble and God-like aura. Each slight from God is worse than death, and each praise a rebirth. Using positive feedback without being doting, we move to the following.
* Who’s ego would willfully resist a better picture of themselves? Dopamine is always the drug of choice. In order to create the contrast between current ability and desired future performance, disappointment must separate the two. Hold up the picture of who they could be, an ego 2.0, and lead them there with the principles that pave the road to that version. Then trust them and hold them accountable. They will supply the fear, you supply the grandeur.
* As mutual gratitude is cultivated, you quietly take a tally of their inadequacies and choose carefully which to bring up, and quietly forgive the inconsequential ones. They won’t take kindly to a nag harping on every single thing that goes wrong, and your God-like aura will get reduced to that of a petty nit-picker.
* People want to please a person who is pleasant to be around, in the natural way that soldiers follow a leader, or suitors offer gifts to the hottest girl in the room. After establishing that you appreciate them through positive feedback loops, your criticism will be less harsh. Few can handle direct criticism or slights to the ego, which appear as insults or condemnations. This mode of action is the emotional equivalent of picking up a hot pan without oven mittens.
What should happen is the establishment of the opinion that you are a just authority, or easy-to-work with coworker. You are fair, you are fun, you are kind, but you are by no means a pushover, nor a sycophant. A tricky balancing act, but this is why few can be leaders, and good-help is hard to find.