Positive thinking in the German business context is not unimportant. Germans differentiate more strictly, however, between a realistic can-do attitude and overly optimistic, naive actionism. Germans give praise in direct connection with factually demonstrated performance. Praise in front of the team is seldom, however. Official awards are rare, for they could lead to envy and thus undermine team cohesion.
Americans see themselves as positive thinkers, motivators, self-motivators. It is a sign of leadership to seek out reasons to praise. In fact, praise is most instrumental when an individual or entire team is struggling, experiencing defeat and self-doubt. And a concrete symbol of praise is official recognition in the form of awards. Americans want to be rewarded for good work. Awards ceremonies, small and large, are a key instrument of positive feedback.