Daily Nugget of Gold 794
Over 100 years ago, industrialist Charles M. Schwab had a problem. The workers in his steel mill weren’t meeting their production quotas and he wanted to get to the bottom of it. He went and talked to their foreman and asked him what he was doing about it. The foreman replied that he basically tried everything he could think of, even threatening to fire them wasn’t getting them to go any faster. The foreman was at a loss.
Later that day Schwab came back to the plant at the end of the first shift. He asked the supervisor how many heats were produced on the shift and was told it was six. Schwab took a piece of chalk, drew a large 6 on the floor in the plant and left. When the next shift came in to work, the plant was already a-buzz about the fact that the big man had come down to shop. When they asked what he said, they explained what he had asked and then marked their answer- “6” on the floor. The next morning, when the day shift returned, the 6 was gone and in it’s place was “7”. Not to be outdone, at the conclusion of their shift they had proudly written a big “10” on the floor.
Schwab didn’t threaten anyone. Schwab didn’t promise them more pay, Schwab merely challenged them in an indirect way. Mister Schwab gained more than 60% more production over what they had done in the past, in just a couple of days by giving his men the chance to compete with each other. He didn’t tell them to do it, which is the amazing thing about all of this, he just let them know where they stood.
Michigan State University did a study once of two groups of people. Some of the faculty and staff bet $40 that they could stick to a 6 month exercise program and some did not bet. The results? 97% of the betting group stuck with the exercise program while a mere 19% of the non-betting group did. Both groups had better health as a sought after goal, didn’t they? The difference was the challenge, obviously. So here’s a good question, what do you do to challenge yourself daily? What little production quotas that you’ve given yourself that you are trying to beat? What are you offering to yourself to get the most out of yourself? Can you think of creative ways to do better than you did just yesterday? We’re betting you can!
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do today to give myself that little nudge?”
Copyright 2012 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.