Motivate successful employees to push even harder – even though they are already at the top
Coach, encourage and challenge every employee and insist on complete candor at every level to support a culture where every employee is valued. Handwritten or personalized notes, shared meals, and surprise visits can all demonstrate the leader’s commitment.
Differentiate rewards to drive behavior. Bonuses and advances should not be as predictable as the dental plan.
People may protest the idea of attending regular meetings, but well-designed operating routines allow leaders to focus on critical business decisions, rather than wasting time trying to coordinate schedules. In addition, the dedicated time gives executives more opportunities to connect with their peers.
Investing early in employee training and new technologies may not generate immediate returns, but these are calculated risks that flexible leaders can make pay off in the long run.
Provide your employees and staff with the skills and knowledge to be competitive workers, but also allow them to pursue their passions outside of work – the result will be more well-rounded – and more satisfied – than most.
Empower your employees by equipping them with the tools to both critique processes and suggest improvements.
Touring the “factory floor” can uncover a treasure trove of insights. Seek out new sources of information – even if they initially seem inconsequential. A tiny glimmer of insight can result in unexpected and consequential savings.
Energize any size group of employees by treating them with respect – soliciting and acting upon feedback, rewarding those who offer suggestions, and recognizing top performers. Asking employees to think critically about the company makes use of your unique asset – individual and group creativity.
Know when to pull which motivational levers. The leader may value profits and product excellence, while what matters to designers is creative freedom.
Too often “executive decisions” improve business processes but frustrate employees, who feel distanced from company goals. Leaders must invest time in the “why” behind decisions to keep employees from feeling their actions are pointless or directionless.
Focusing strategically on a few selected metrics can ensure that your crew members row in the same direction. By dividing an ambitious plan into challenging but manageable phases, employees can gain a sense of accomplishment. Otherwise the leader’s vision might seem too difficult – or even worse – impossible.
In a time of crisis, a leader must instill a sense of urgency, but avoid sending employees into a panic. Articulating a compelling vision of the opportunities available are critical.

Leadership Power Plays

We culled the most provocative, interesting, and useful strategies and tactics from Leadership Power Plays that can inspire innovative thinking and problem-solving in your own business, department, or company. Share these strategies with your colleagues and team members, with your employees, or use them to benchmark your own practices. And most of all, use these power plays as a launching pad to write your own "Playbook" to ensure you stay at the top of your game.

More Power Plays

More Playbooks and Tip Sheets