There is a true story about Nathaniel Hawthorne, the American novelist, before he became famous.
One day, he came home from his job at a custom house to tell his wife, Sophia, that he had been fired. Heartbroken, he declared he was a failure.
To his surprise, Sophia exclaimed with joy, “But now you can write your book!”
“How can I?” he replied with sagging confidence. “What will we have to live on?”
To his amazement, Sophia opened a drawer and pulled out a large sum of money.
“Where on earth did you get that?” he exclaimed.
“I have always known you were a man of genius,” she told him. “I knew that someday you would write a masterpiece. So, every week, out of the money you gave me for the housekeeping, I saved a little bit. There is enough to last us for a whole year.”
By the end of the year, Nathaniel Hawthorne had written “The Scarlet Letter”, which was destined to become one of the greatest novels of American literature. And all because of the trust and confidence of his wife in him.
If you want to motivate your staff, don’t just praise them. That’s easy. Show them that you believe in them with deeds as well as words. That’s hard. But it’s effective.