What’s Wrong With “Holding Their Feet to the Fire”

“Make people accountable.”

“Lay down the law.”

“Hold peoples’ feet to the fire.”

“Increase the heat.”

If there’s one big idea we learned from Alvin Toffler’s classic book Future Shock, it’s that when you overload people, the result is not better productivity. And putting on more heat won’t make it any better. 

Toffler’s point was this: When the demand exceeds the individual’s ability to handle it, the result is dysfunction.

It’s not that people shut-down, but they begin to exhibit dysfunctional behavior beginning with signs of stress and ending at the far extreme with suicide.

Stress is everywhere, and most people will perform at their best with some level of stress. But you’re fooling yourself if you think you can continue to run people hard. It will backfire.

There are far better ways to deal with increasing work loads and a lean staff.

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