Crack the Whip, An Entrepreneur as a father: The modern age fathers most of the time fail when it comes to understanding the importance of the phrase “Crack the whip”. This simply means to use authority, often in a harsh or stern manner, to make someone work harder, often with a threat of punishment or reprisals. As I reflected today on the eve of my 40th birthday I remembered times when my father would “crack the whip”, his style was different but it prepared me to be a good modern Father and entrepreneur.
One way to crack the whip is to show the way. By just seeing how Dad did things and treated others, it pushed me to keep up. I remember when going to school we had to be ready before him otherwise he would drive off but still expected us to be at the school when it was pick up time. Today I can say my time management skills were developed back then by his example. This is the same as the modern entrepreneur or business owner, show the way to create a culture in your company. Crack the whip by being disciplined with finances, submitting receipts and keeping time. Don’t call for a meeting and come in late.
In 1995 when I went to Mpelembe in grade 10, my father told me to be an example to others by following school rules, working hard and at the end of my grade 12 he expected me to obtain 10 points or less. Another way a modern father should “crack the whip” is to communicate clearly with our children and leave no place for ambiguity to avoid indiscipline. This also applies to modern entrepreneurs or business owners, develop a skill of clearly crafting expectations of employees. Let everyone from the sweeper to managers and directors know your vision, mission, values and anything that defines your business. Set clear targets, expectations and avoid verbosity.
When I turned 16 years, perceived as a responsible boy my father took me to a driving school and I obtained a driving license. He gave me strict instructions on where to go in his car, when to use and how. Every month that passed earned me extra fuel. However, in 2000 whatever got into me, my father gave me strict instructions to pick up one of his cars from the mechanic and drive below 50km/h straight home. This was after an engine overhaul, I didn’t know what that was then. In my own wisdom, I decided to go from Itawa Ndola to CBU in Kitwe at flying speed to pick up some items (obviously with good friends). Before we could even reach Kitwe I just heard a deafening sound from the engine, immediately I knew the fun was over and started to prepare for the wipe. Dad suspended my monthly allowance and my car privileges were withheld for 3 months. Yes “crack the whip” with reward and punishment, if a team member or employee exceeds expectations reward them. Similarly, to ensure balance if one is underperforming or indiscipline you should punish them or depend on the gravity of the offence “fire” them. “I gave you clear instructions and you decided in your own wisdom to disobey them,” my father said. When punishing, saying it loud and clear to your child or as an entrepreneur to an employee is important when you “crack the whip”, remember the intention is to get the best performance from them and not to completely break them. Employers should also establish a disciplinary procedure which should be clearly communicated.