Time And Punishment

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I spent an entire afternoon scolding one of my children through “terrible twos tantrums”.  “Get off that! Don’t climb up there! Put that down! Eat your food! Go to bed!” and on and on and on.  I tried my best to stay ahead of the bad behavior.  I worked on preventing the tantrum from occurring and was firm in my discipline.  The problem was that while I directed all of my attention to the misbehavior, I neglected to recognize the outreach from my other child.  “Mommy watch this!  Mommy look at me!  Mommy! Mommy!  Mommy!” and on and on and on.  Did I spend too much time focusing on the bad behavior, and not enough time recognizing the good behavior?  Would my actions result in the good behavior turning to bad behavior simply to gain attention?

This should come as no surprise.  Our society rewards people for bad behavior.  The lead news story is typically about someone who committed a crime.  Book deals and reality shows are centered on those who act selfishly, immorally, and unethically.  This is often true in business and is usually reflected in how we allocate our time to employees.  In sales they say that 20% of your customers will occupy 80% of your time, and it’s not because they want to spend more money with you.  Do we spend 80% of our time with the 20% of employees that cause us the most grief?  Should we focus more energy on the employees that put forth effort?

This is a very difficult question.  We certainly want to coach and grow employees, but not while neglecting those who work hard.  Is there an ideal ratio for employee development?  I really don’t know, but welcome suggestions.  Personally I think it’s more important to determine which employees want the attention.  If you have someone that needs assistance but shows no signs of drive and commitment then are you wasting your time?  If you have a talented employee with no aspirations then is that really where your attention should be focused?

It truly is a matter of recognizing who’s raising their hand and shouting “Watch me! Look at this!”.  How do you decide how best to allocate your time?


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.

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