Turn up the heat without burning people out

My house reeks of burnt brownie. My eleven year old (mistakenly) thought that if 20 seconds made a brownie, ooey, gooey and delicious, that 2 minutes in the microwave would make it ooey-er gooey-er and delicious-er. He was wrong. It was inedible.

There are times we do this with each other. If my students do well with a little stress, maybe if I up the stress for a bit longer, they will perform better.

  • If we do one practice test, maybe four or five will bring up the intensity level so they work even harder?
  • IF my staff gets that much done in an extended work day, maybe we should extend our work day more often and get more done?
  • If one sharp remark gets that kind of response, maybe I'm being too nice and I should be more firm all the time? After all, don't I want them to jump when I speak?

And on and on.

While sports teams can handle buzzer beaters, they couldn't physically play at that level the entire game. They aren't made to handle it.

Brownies are awful and burnt if overcooked and humans become frazzled, upset, and unproductive if they are overworked.

There is a fine line between the perfection that comes from a little heat and extra effort at the right time and burning the people and things you care about to a blackened, stinky, mess.

Think about the balance required in cooking and realize that you need that same balance with managing and motivating. People don't mind you turning up the heat a little if they know there is a sweet reward at the end.

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