Friday, April 26, 2013

Green Beans & Ice Cream: The Remarkable Power of Positive Reinforcement - Guest Post

Synopsis (from Green Beans and Ice Cream? At first glance, they don’t sound like they go together. But this groundbreaking new book from author Bill Sims, Jr. will change forever the way you deal with your family, customers, coworkers, students, and yes, even your spouse! 

In Bill’s thirty year history, he has helped design more than one thousand behavior change systems that have produced tremendous gains in performance and profits at America’s top companies including Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Motors, and Dupont. Hidden in this book you will find Bill’s “secret sauce”, and the recipe for rapid, sustainable behavior change and engagement--Positive Reinforcement (PR+) The book explains why positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. 

Use it wisely, and performance moves off the chart. Use it poorly, and the results can be disastrous. Green Beans & Ice Cream analyzes over 100 years of research in the field of human behavioral science, and compares it to “real world, in the trenches” true stories that Sims recounts. It points out clearly that the thing we need the most, is the thing we often receive the least—positive reinforcement and feedback from those around us. Using the techniques outlined in this book, you can master the remarkable power of positive reinforcement, and make a real difference in the world around you. This book is for everyone who must lead others. Whether in the family, the school, or the workplace, it is a “must read” for anyone who wants to improve the performance of their team. With this first book, Sims has dropped a stone in the still pond of leadership. The waves will only get bigger.

Meet the Author: Bill Sims, Jr., is President of The Bill Sims Company, Inc. For nearly 30 years, Sims has created behavior-based recognition programs that have helped large and small firms to deliver positive reinforcement to inspire better performance from employees and increase bottom line profits. A sought-after speaker, he has delivered leadership workshops and keynote speeches around the globe and has built more than 1,000 positive reinforcement systems at firms including DuPont, Siemens VDO, Coca-Cola, and Disney.

Words With the Author: I am so happy to share with you all, this post from Bill Sims, Jr., about his book Green Beans & Ice Cream: The Remarkable Power of Positive Reinforcement.  

A week or so ago a friend of mine in Alaska told me  a story that I think sums up the power of the book…

“Some years ago, my 9 year old son Timmy asked me if he could cut the grass. Now my yard is a big one, and grass grows fast when you have 20 hours of sunlight a day in Alaska. Plus, I’m a fanatic about straight lines of cut grass. I guess you could say I cut grass with military precision.  After a long deliberation I told Tim he could cut the grass, if he could crank the mower.

I figured he would try a few times and give up. But not Timmy. That kid was out there for three days solid pulling that old starter cord.
Then my wife called me at work.
“Shane, Timmy got the mower cranked. He wants to know if he can cut the grass….” (this of course was my worst nightmare. But, I had given my word to Tim, so I told him to start cutting grass.
As I drove up in the driveway there was Timmy, smiling back at me as big as you please. He gestured to the straight line he had cut across my 2 acre yard, smiling brightly. It was perfect, except for the fact that he had cut right through two of my favorite flower beds and destroyed my prized Iris plants!
I wanted to chew Tim out, but one look at his face told me I just couldn’t. Instead, I took a long look at the path he cut and I told him—‘Son that’s the straightest line I’ve ever seen!’

From that day forward, I never had to cut my grass again. Tim did it cheerfully. In fact, by age 14 he was making $400 a week cutting grass for the neighbors, and he put himself thru college that way.”

As parents, teachers, and business leaders we do a great job of telling folks what they do wrong…..and a really, really bad job of telling them what they do right.
More than a hundred years of research says that what people really want to hear is a simple “Good Job.” And sadly, more than 75% of us never hear that.
I learned the same lesson Shane did when I was four….and Mom said, “Son if you eat your green beans,  you can have some ice cream.”

It worked. Right then and there when my behavior changed I got a smile and pat on the back from mom. It was immediate, and NOT at the end of the year in my kid performance appraisal.
If you want to change the behavior of others around you, master the power of positive reinforcement. My book is designed to do just that.

Purchase it: You can order Green Beans & Ice Cream today at

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