The Carrot Principle

How the Best Managers use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance

Now Including Global Research! The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller The Carrot Principle is now expanded—the new 2nd Edition proves that recognition accelerates human performance everywhere in the world.


Human performance accelerated? Is this book about the work place or the human race?

It’s actually both. The Carrot Principle shows definitively that the central characteristic of the most successful managers is that they provide their employees with frequent and effective recognition—a practice that unquestionably taps into our own human nature. Recognition inspires results in every age group, career level, and culture!

With breakthrough research of 200,000 people over ten years from The Jackson Organization, and massive, new global data collected by Towers Perrin, The Carrot Principle demonstrates how constructive praise and meaningful rewards powerfully motivates people from every walk of life and inspires employees to excel, engage, and bring their best to work every day.

Drawing on case studies from leading companies including Disney, DHL, KPMG, and Pepsi Bottling Group, bestselling authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton show how the transformative power of purpose-based recognition produces astonishing results—whether measured by return on equity, return on assets, or operating margin. And they show how great managers who lead with carrots achieve higher:

  • Productivity
  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Customer satisfaction

The Carrot Principle illustrates that the relationship between recognition and improved business results is highly predictable—it’s proven to work, time and time again. But, it’s not the employee recognition some of us have been using for years. This is recognition done right, recognition combined with four other core traits of effective leadership. And, effective recognition, which all managers can easily learn and begin practicing for immediate results doesn’t take time—it can be done in a matter of moments, and it requires very little investment to create a huge ROI.

The Carrot Principle 2nd Edition is jam-packed with case studies, recognition ideas, easy to follow instructions, and insights from the world’s best managers.

Learn to say “thank you” the right way. Become a high-performance leader and take your team to a new level of achievement—in any industry, any company, and anywhere in the world.

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What people are saying about The Carrot Principle

“Fascinating book!”

Fortune magazine

The Carrot Principle should be required reading for every CEO, manager and aspiring manager.”

Scott O'Neil
President, Madison Square Garden

“A quick, clear read, admirably free of jargon and generally sensible about the low cost and potentially high returns of rewarding employee effort ... Includes startling data on the strong correlation between recognition and return on equity.”

Wall Street Journal

The Carrot Principle is a must-read for those who look to accelerate the performance of their organization with an engaged workforce. Gostick and Elton are right on the mark that the power of recognition is the key to winning with your people and your customers.”

Ron Nelson
Chairman and CEO, Avis Budget Group, Inc.

“Gostick and Elton are the undisputed thought leaders in employee motivation and recognition. In The Carrot Principle, they not only provide the statistical proof that recognition will drive business results, but show how great organizations are using these tools to inspire performance.”

John Mullen
Global CEO, DHL Express