Book Reviews
Title: The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers
Talent, and Accelerate Performance
Author: Adrian Gostick, Chester Elton
Stars: ***

What’s up is this. The authors’ reference studies that point to an
“undeniable correlation” between recognition and organization success.
Companies with effective recognition strategies have better financial
performance – 3 times higher Return on Equity, and Return on Assets,
and operating margins almost 6 percentage points higher. Unfortunately
this important information continues to go unheeded as companies tend
to cut recognition programs precisely when they should be ratcheting
them up.

In fact there is a dearth of recognition in today’s work environment as
revealed by results from numerous studies noted in the book to include:
65% of workers haven’t been recognized in the last year. (Gallop Poll).
80% of managers provide little to no recognition (Wichita State University
Poll). Paradoxically, in a Jackson Group study managers viewed
themselves in the top quartile when judging how well they recognize their

The authors review the four basic characteristics of leadership: Goal
setting, Communication, Trust, and Accountability. Recognition, they point
out, is the accelerant that allows management effectiveness soar in each
of the 4 areas. This is the Carrot Principle. “Great management is born
when recognition is added to the 4 basic leadership characteristics.”

The authors go into much detail on the basic 4 characteristics and how
recognition is used as an accelerator. They review why certain managers
recognize and others don’t and debunk the many myths surrounding
recognition. They explain how to build a carrot culture specifying the types
of recognition and how often and when they should be given. The book
finishes up with 125 recognition ideas.

The book is a good refresher on the value of recognition and it suggests
and outlines basic strategies for implementing recognition on both a large
and a small scale.
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