One day Deng Xiaoping decided to take one of his grandsons to visit Mao Tse-tung.
«Call me Granduncle,» Mao offered warmly.
«Oh, I certainly couldn’t do that, Chairman Mao,» the awe-struck child replied.
«Why don’t you give him an apple?» suggested Deng.
No sooner had Mao done so than the boy took a healthy bite out of it, then happily chirped, «Oh, thank you, Granduncle.»
«You see, «said Deng, «what incentives can achieve.»
—A story told around Peking
From Time Magazine, 30.04.1984. Quoted by: Eisenhardt, K. M. 1989. “Agency Theory: An Assessment and Review.” The Academy of Management Review 14 (1): 57–74.