Coercive People

A long time ago, before the Viggo Mortensen played Aragorn, before the live action renditions of The Lord of the Rings, in the deep dark period of time called the 1980s there were animated versions of the stories, specifically The Return of the King.

In it there is a song sung by the Orcs of Mordor called “Where there’s a whip there’s a way”. The lyrics make it clear that the Orcs would prefer not to be marching to war but their taskmaster is “motivating” them with a whip.

Unfortunately some individuals believe that force is the best way to motivate their subordinates. This is otherwise known as coercion or manipulating by force. As a short term strategy it has a small amount of reasonable success. In the long term it only breeds contempt and the likelihood that the subordinates will leave or otherwise remove the coercive individual in their lives.

That doesn’t build a long term working relationship and it doesn’t promote consistency. This can negatively affect your business by making people not want to work for you, causing your employees to do their job poorly, and generally getting people to hate you and your business. That is the natural market weeding out those that are not successful.

If you want to be successful you need to slowly and carefully grow your business and the relationships you have in and around it. This builds up a report with people so that it works and advertises for you when you are not even trying. Because of this a non coercive model works best for small businesses because they have a much smaller margin for error than larger companies.

As a last comment, coercion does not have a 100% success rate this is why marketing can be hit or miss because we cannot truly force anyone to do exactly what we want. Any business model that features coercion as one of its main points needs to rethink its view of manipulation, because manipulation is like a finely tuned switch rather than a strike with a hammer.



The Irreverent Gentleman


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