Power Players

Elon Musk and Tim Cook use this simple but effective leadership tactic

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.
Joshua Lott | Getty Images

Amid the flurry of year-end posts on social media, CEOs Tim Cook and Elon Musk posted simple messages that showed their savvy as leaders: they publicly recognized the work of their employees.

On Thursday, Apple CEO Cook thanked the tech company's retail teams.

Thank you to our outstanding retail teams around the world. Your contagious energy and passion represent the best of Apple. It's a privilege to work with all of you.

On Tuesday, the Tesla CEO congratulated the electric car company's employees (despite missed fourth quarter production expectations).

Congratulations @Tesla team!!

Google billionaire Eric Schmidt says expressing thanks or recognition to employees is a winning leadership technique that not only makes people feel good but can result in them doing better work.

"It just seems to me that if you take a moment, and you add the preamble of 'Thank you' or 'I appreciate it,' or 'I recognize it,' people's hearts sing, and you get a lot more work out of them," said Schmidt during a November "Conversations with Tyler" podcast.

Schmidt, who is currently worth $13.2 billion according to Forbes and was the CEO and executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, says acts of kindness can go a long way as a leader.

"There's no simple formula for success, and there's no simple formula for being a great leader. It's a unique set of skills. But it is well understood that if you yell at people enough, they will quit, and if you're nice enough to them, they are less likely to quit," Schmidt said.

Current Google CEO Sundar Pichai has also been known to be publicly appreciative to his employees.

"I want to call out the great work of our marketing and design teams. I want to thank all our employees, Google users, partners and advertisers around the world," Pichai said during a February earnings call

See also:

Google billionaire Eric Schmidt: 'Almost anyone who's successful has to start by saying they were lucky'

Elon Musk: This is why I push myself to the brink

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Billionaire Elon Musk responds to unhappy Tesla customer
Billionaire Elon Musk responds to unhappy Tesla customer