Beyond the Build


The Carrot and the Stick

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be watching a horse race at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park. The commentator mentioned there would be no whips used on the horses during the race, a new rule that was recently adopted. All the horses were still racing their hearts out to win. Interesting.

This got me to thinking of a conversation I recently had in the office regarding the carrot and the stick. Both are good tools in most everyone’s tool box. Sometimes praise or a “thank you” are the right way to motivate, and at other times, the stick is needed. Finding balance is an art form and can lead to getting better outcomes for the tasks at hand.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.