If you rely on incentives to direct your team's efforts, thinking up new and different prizes can become a job in itself. Not so for Kirk Malicki, president of Pegasus Personal Fitness Centres, in Dallas.

When new physical-fitness trainers sign on with his personal-training company, he asks them to make a list of rewards, ranging in value from $25 to $200, that they'd like to receive for reaching weekly and monthly goals.

Instead of commonplace prizes, his 15 employees have opted for rock-concert tickets, limousine rentals, and half days off. Thanks in part to the customized incentives, sales have more than doubled since 1985. "They know what motivates them better than I do, so I just ask," says Malicki.