From Tom Peters
The great American psychologist, William James, tells us, "The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated."
I have long thought that those are among the most profound words I've ever stumbled upon. For I do fervently believe that appreciation is indeed the most powerful force of nature and hence, practically speaking, the premier "motivational" "tool" available to bosses-managers-leaders (not to mention parents and teachers and spouses)...
And that pair in turn leads me to the last of this set, and back to the James brothers, this time the prominentnovelist Henry: "Three things in life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind."
Tough times, which are still the context for many of us, provide the greatest tests of character. Tough times are the period when basic human decency matters most. From a commercial standpoint, tough times are the best of times to deepen relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, and the communities in which we work and live. Yes, difficult decisions must be made ... again and again. But the way in which these decisions are approached and executed is the bedrock for the relationships that will re-ignite first and most fiercely and move us forward with alacrity when the worm does turn.
Relationships based on thoughtfulness and benevolence and kindness and appreciation are the sort that you "can take to the bank." Or, to use the strategy mavens' metaphor du jour, deep relationships make for the deepest of "blue oceans"—a/k/a, sustainable competitive advantage.
The whole post contains more examples and is worth reading.