The power of positive motivation""--on women in particular. The proprietor of May Kay Cosmetics started her business in the early '60s, as she's related before (Mary Kay), to give opportunities to women and in the belief that what she knew as a woman (from direct-sales experience, from motherhood) could also bring business success. Given the results, her trademark blend of paternalistic and maternalistic management is as much to marvel at as to cringe or scoff at. The Golden Rule Ã la Ash: ""to do for my associates what every mother wants to do for her children--what's best for them."" Thus, the heaps of praise for a nervous trainee's pitiful few sales (""A small child will stand on wobbly legs, then take a tiny step. . .""), the elaborate award ceremonies for women who may have had no chance to shine since high school graduation. Some directives--on attentive listening or knowing your product--are standard management or sales wisdom. Much is also routine inspirational peptalk: ""When you're not feeling up to par, you've simply got to work harder because your attitude can affect the enthusiasm of your people."" There's much about a good manager's good example--her responsibility to dress smartly (""I've even had to limit a favorite pastime--gardening""), to do as she'd have done (""I hadn't held ten shows in ten years. . .""). But: ""management must respect the sanctity of the family."" The homilies and prescriptions come with a disarming, leveling candor: big-business responsibilities are less stressful, says Ash, then having to worry about how ""to put food on the table, pay the rent, and buy clothes for my children."" Sweet-talk with backbone.