Kelly and Ben Decker writing for the HBR blog:

No one wants another checklist task that they have to complete. We want to be called to something greater. So instead of informing and directing your direct reports, aspire to inspire. When you focus on persuading them, you’ll be able to turn even a corporate initiative or new product launch into a cause that becomes their own. They’ll want to step up and own their results.

Just like the dog in the aptly selected stock photo atop this post, your employees will not only fetch those balls better and faster, they'll be happier doing it. And though the tennis balls all look alike, if you truly understand your employees' personalities, you'll be able to manipulate them into thinking that those balls do have meaning. Your employees will want to own the balls.