Management Practices

The Carrot Principle (Book Review)

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 2:14 PM

Reviewed by: Jason Hall, co-owner of Red 7 Salon in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois

What is the book about?
“The book is about using recognition as a tool to help you—the owner or manager—and your team succeed and reach common goals.”

Why did you like this book?
“The book really reflected a mindset that I’ve always believed and have tried to practice—that people love to be praised and they will work harder, better and stronger when they are.  When someone works in a culture filled with fear and sharp criticism, they will withdraw and go even further down the path you don’t care for; it’s common sense, but sometimes a difficult lesson to really be consistent with. This book pushed my beliefs on recognition to the breaking point—do people really need to be praised every day? Well, I appreciate when someone tells me I’ve done a great job, so, yeah.

“I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about that last part. Every day? But diving deeper into the book made it all make sense. There are four aspects of leadership we, as owners and managers, need to focus on and be consistent with, and they are connected to recognition: goal setting, communication, trust and accountability.”

What was the biggest takeaway message for you?
“We are sometimes afraid, as owners and managers, to ask our staff: Are you happy? Are you engaged? Are you satisfied?

“If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘no’ … well, then what can I do to assist that team member down a path to fulfillment? We want long-term commitments that feed and expand our team and our company and not just keep them/us afloat.”
What idea did you implement in your business or professional life?
“Bottom line … it’s hard to be a leader. It’s hard to have an entire company look to you for guidance, but that’s also the joy. The joy is in recognizing your team for the work they’ve done and for the commitment they’ve made to their careers within the company. So I implemented more ‘thank yous’—texts, e-mails, cards, in-person, staff meetings, retreats and parties. It’s important. And, if you do it right, your team does the same for you. It’s beautiful.”

Why would you recommend the book to others?
“Overall, it’s a great read that’s about a plane-ride long. It motivated me and pushed our company to the next level. Try it on for size.”


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