Play both Good Cop and Bad Cop

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
- John Quincy Adams

If you are an effective motivator of others, then you know how to play "good cop, bad cop," And you know that you don't need two people to play it. A true motivator plays both roles.

Good Cop: nurturing, mentoring, coaching, serving, and supporting your people all the way. Keeping your word every time. Removing obstacles to success. Praising and acknowledging all the way. Leading through positive reinforcement of desired behavior, because you're a true leader who knows that you get what you reward.

Bad Cop: bad to the bone. No compromise about people keeping their promises to you, even promises about performance. No room for complaints and excuses as substitutions for conversations about promises not being kept. No respect for whiners and people who do not make their numbers. No "wiggle room" for the lazy. Clarity, conviction, determination. All cards on the table. No covert messages. In your face: "I believe in you. I know what you can do. The whole reason you exist here, in my life, is to get this job done."

Obviously you don't call on Bad Cop very often. Only after every Good Cop approach is exhausted. Bad Cop can be a great wake-up call to someone who has never been challenged in life to be the best she can be. And once the Bad Cop session is over, and the person is back in the game, giving it a good effort, bring Good Cop back right away to complete the process.

1 comment:

  1. Aren't we really just talking good leaders using various styles of leadership given various situations and organizational environments. Why characterize it as being a "bad cop" and all the negative implications it arouses.