Is fear a motivator? Part 1: the scenario and a question for readers

My daughter had a dilemma: Because she’d missed a turn-in date for a practice log she was earning a C in band. Her only hope to maintain the C was to get a near-perfect score on a performance exercise that had three components. She accomplished the first two easily but success on the third eluded her. She practiced for hours and still couldn’t get it quite right.

In an effort to help her out, I accessed her online grades to see exactly how many points she needed on the exercise to keep her C and discovered something strange. For some reason her teacher had revised the practice log grade to an A – and she had already achieved the scores needed to keep the A. So now I had a dilemma: Did I tell her she had reached her goal or did I let her struggle on for a bit to prove a point?

It’s easy to see how this might translate to managing an employee with an important deadline. So, parents and managers, before I tell you the outcome I want to hear from you. What would you have done in this situation?

Post a comment or send your answer to – if I use it I’ll feature your business.