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OH, yeah! Well said, Dan. Depressing when the bucks go to those who will not accept another kind of "buck" ... as in, "the buck stops here." Great levels of pay can only be justified by great levels of responsibility.

It has always seemed to me that pay does not 'lead' misdeeds but can do a good 'follow-up' job. The exception seems to be where government folks decide to 'pad their pay' like they did in a number of the smaller cities around Los Angeles in the last few years. Something seems to happen to some otherwise good people in executive jobs when their own pay is 'at stake'.

The most challenging 'incentive' riddle I have seen occurred during the 'sub-prime crunch' where a number of banks had 'bonus' plans based on the dollor volume of sub-prime loans and had trouble terminating the plans fast enough to stop the 'bleeding'. I wonder if that was an act of dishonestly or just stupidity? One wonders in retrospect.

It was bad enough that the plan was poorly designed and/or executed.

Jay: I agree that pay generally does not "lead" misdeeds. The fact that both the opportunity for misdeeds and the opportunity for pay can be easily linked is usually the problem. We just need to keep reminding people that pay also does not manage people. People manage people.

You can delegate work to those below you, but you cannot, since it is your job, delegate management of those doing the work.

I try to explain it this way: Those below you can be held responsible, but, as leader, you must be held accountable.

Some interesting science on cheating. http://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/why-cheaters-cheat-the-science-behind-the-wells-fargo-scandal.html

Great article, Dan, both your original and the one linked in your last comment. Sometimes the comments provide wonderful further insights. For example, I just LOVE Dan Ariely's books (like Jay's and Pat's) and strongly recommend that everyone in the reward biz read them ASAP!

I love Daniel Ariely's books too. Easy to read and informative.

Here's another article on this topic. This was based in part on an interview I gave (that was inspired by this blog post.)


hmmmm http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/20/494738797/you-should-resign-watch-sen-elizabeth-warren-grill-wells-fargo-ceo-john-stumpf

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