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Best-Practices Leadership

A leader in an organization can’t do everyone’s job. Instead of micromanaging, strong leaders use organizational leadership to coordinate, communicate, motivate and delegate among employees and team members. For comprehensive organizational effectiveness, each individual needs to be seen as a contributor, with the leader at the helm.

Most importantly, best-practices leadership involves keeping employees motivated throughout the process, adapting your scope or strategy as necessary, and developing an effective communication strategy.

Some people never make it to the other side because they’re more successful at being doers. This is a crucial point in determining if you’re going to move up the ranks.

Browse our articles, tools and advice on best-practices leadership.

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Begin every conversation geared toward problem-solving by identifying the problem and how it might be solved. Six questions should guide your actions.

In 2011, Tim Cook replaced the late Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Since then, the 52-year-old has gradually established himself as a leader in his own right.

Arnold Hiatt was visiting Hong Kong in 1990 when he noticed a child wearing an unusual shoe. It closed with Velcro and had a loop on the back, allowing the child to pull it on easily. Within months, Hiatt’s Massachusetts company, Stride Rite, produced a similar model. Lesson: Watch and listen.

One thing we can learn from blogger Bob Lefsetz is to seize the moment. A wannabe music journalist turned industry lawyer in the 1970s, he wormed his way into his original ambition by starting a trade publication, the Lefsetz Letter. Then, in 2000, he put it online, just in time for the war over music file-sharing ...

In today’s economy, leaders must look beyond borders and develop a global mindset. The ability to broaden your perspective and understand different cultures gives you an edge in collaborating with foreign partners or negotiating deals abroad. To diagnose to what extent you ex­­hibit a global mindset, apply this self-test.

William Marbury had been confirmed as a Washington, D.C., justice of the peace in the waning days of the Adams administration, but the incoming Jefferson administration refused to seat him. The U.S. Supreme Court had to decide what to do. Chief Justice John Marshall found a way.
With his famous optimism, risk-taking and hatred of compromise, President Woodrow Wilson went for maximum outcomes. He failed big and won big.
Stanford professor Bob Sutton regards leadership as an expression of comedy and tragedy. For instance, he has said that good leaders know when to be boring, vague, emotionally detached and authoritarian. In a recent interview, he was asked when boredom might be desirable.
A combat veteran of World War I, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright was posted to the Philippines in 1941. Forced to surrender after being overwhelmed by Japanese forces in the battle for Bataan Peninsula, he spent more than three years in captivity. He anxiously asked the commandos who finally found him what had been on his mind all that time: Was he considered a disgrace?

Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, aptly described as “one of America’s great weird brands,” made its U.S. debut in the late 1940s. Emanuel Bronner liked to talk about “constructive capitalism,” which he de­­scribed as sharing profits with workers and going gentle on the earth. His heirs codified this concept.

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