Green Beans and Ice Cream

Recently I had the opportunity to read Green Beans and Ice Cream, a book by Bill Sims, subtitled The Remarkable Power of Positive Reinforcement.

My 40 years in business have taught me that positive reinforcement is an important key to leadership success. As my Grandmother used to say, “You get more flies with honey than vinegar.” Yet a lot of leaders don’t spend enough time patting people on the back for what they do well.

The title Green Beans and Ice Cream comes from an incident in the author’s youth. His mother reinforced his positive behavior (eating green beans) by allowing him to have ice cream for dessert. This is a simple but profound concept. People continue to do the things for which they get rewarded.

The whole book comes down to the PR + Behavior Change Model:

Pinpoint + Reinforce = Behavior Change.

Seasoned leaders may find this model a little elementary. New leaders should embrace it.

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