The manager of a large restaurant hired
my wife and business partner, Klassy Evans, as a consultant.
The manager was having problems that caused her a great deal
of stress and she didnt know what to do about it. For example,
no matter how many times the manager talked to certain employees,
they still continually showed up late for work and always had
a good excuse.
Klassy suggested something simple: Every
time a person shows up late, assign them a cleaning task to be
completed before they go home that day.
It worked. Not only were fewer people showing
up late, but some things the manager wanted clean were getting
cleaned. The restaurant was under better control and the manager
was less distressed.
My son used to leave his window open and
his heater on when he left for school in the morning. No matter
how many times I told him to turn off his heater, he never seemed
to remember. Saving my money wasnt very important to him.
Its the vexing kind of problem commonly experienced by
I decided to make it important to him and
fined him one dollar from his allowance every time I found the
heater on and the window open.
Would you believe it? His memory made an
immediate, complete, and permanent improvement after losing only
You control yourself for the same reason
you try to help your child develop self-control, and for the
same reason a manager tries to maintain order with her staff:
A person or family or organization with self-control is more
likely to succeed.
The way to gain control is to set standards
and stick to them firmly. Establish standards and make them known.
Then keep those standards come hell or high water. Whenever you
find yourself in a situation where you need to have control,
remember this well.
If youre a boss or a parent, think
hard about the standards you set and make sure you set those
standards carefully. Once youve announced the standard
and the penalty for deviating from it, hold to your promise without
flinching, and you will have gained a new level of control. You
will have derived order from chaos. The method allows your child
or your employee to learn self-control and by doing so, you increase
the amount of successful action.
When he was first put in charge of a regiment,
General Grant found chaos and disorder. The men were dressed
slovenly, they showed up late and there was rank insubordination.
Before you can accomplish something, you
first have to establish order, and thats what Grant did.
When someone showed up late for roll-call, the whole regiment
went without food for twenty-four hours. A man was tied to a
post all day if he disobeyed orders. When a soldier cussed, he
Rules were established, cleanliness was
created, and order was the name of the game. They could get on
with the task of training and fighting.
Then Grant took these same men and captured
Fort Donelson and fifteen thousand prisoners in one afternoon!
That victory turned the tide for the Union forces.
Discipline is difficult. Our yearning for
freedom bucks against it. But without discipline, little can
Its a simple fact: Ultimately, its
more difficult and painful to do without discipline than it is
to buckle down and establish control.
Set standards and stick to them through
storm and thunder. You will derive gain from the pain. Success
will be your sweet reward.
Set standards and stick to them.