Yes, but below are two stories that strike another parallel. Read on dear reader, read on:
"Michigan Girl Scout sells 17,328 boxes of cookies" - Yep, I read the headline and with typical skepticism, I assumed that out of the 17,328 boxes sold, that at least 17,300 were sold by some helicopter mom and dad who fixed it for their little Scout. I pictured the parents taking the cookies to their work to brow beat their co-workers, relentlessly pimping out their relatives and mortgaging their own home to buy the rest. But then I kept reading.
It seems that the 15 year old Girl Scout was a bit of a wall flower before the cookie campaign. Her mom did push her out the door each day at first - and sat with her - on a street corner every day to offer their cookies to the passersby. Every day. The mom described to the news how her little girl blossomed before her eyes from being very "quiet, shy and afraid to talk to customers" to being "really confident and right out there, first to the door." As a dad who pines away for my kids to be achievers - at anything they choose to pursue - I absolutely love the story behind the story.
Oh yeah, the girl's whole scout troop is going to Europe with the troop's share of the money raised. Individual accomplishment that is paid to the whole team that supported her. Awesome.
"Yankees respond to pressure with win over Rays" - That's the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. The storied franchise with the league leading $208,684,129 payroll. Wow, that is almost as much as I make! The team's owner Hank Steinbrenner told his players to start "earning their bloated salaries" during team meeting before the game. Seems the boss was not happy that he was not getting a dollars worth of work for a dollars worth of pay.
The team apparently agreed. They performed at a high level and won the game. "Our intensity was up a little bit," said their captain Derek Jeter.
Long time readers know I endorse the ol' carrot & stick approach to behavior reinforcement. I suppose that is what caught my attention with these stories. Some would tend to go easy and not push too hard, not expect too much and not hold people accountable to an acceptable standard.
In these stories somebody cared enough to expect more...and they got more.
How about you? Are you a pushover, or are you a drill sergeant? Or something in between?