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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When Thomas Neff and James Citrin were interviewing 50 CEOs and company presidents for their book Lessons From the Top, they decided they would ask all of them to name the greatest leadership lesson they had learned from reading the books by Peter F. Drucker. Here are five lessons that topped the list:
Front-line managers make a tremendous difference in turnover, costs, quality, safety and innovation, not to mention overall performance. They’re the people who keep customers happy and keep small glitches from widening into disasters. First-level leaders need to understand the whole organization, yet they rarely are let in on the big picture. Every one of your front-line leaders should be able to answer “Yes” to these questions:
Some 100 years ago, Nellie Taft, first lady to President William Howard Taft, showed leadership in many ways, large and small.
The best way to gain followers is to win their hearts, says leadership guru John C. Maxwell. Use these eight tenets to do just that:
Not content to write a one-paragraph mission statement for the lobby wall, Michael Dell had his leadership team craft a document called “The Soul of Dell.” It’s probably the longest statement of purpose an American corporation has ever crafted, and it serves as an internal benchmark for operations.
By daring last year to make the 20th recording of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, Placido Domingo created an atmosphere of expectation. That’s because he’s a leader in everything he’s done. Aside from being one of the world’s top tenors, Domingo also works as general director of both the Los Angeles and Washington operas and has taken on extra gigs as a conductor. Some clues to his leadership:
Real estate titan Sam Zell has no patience for how business schools teach leadership. He’s candid about how they’re always “canonizing” empirical tools but drop the ball on people skills.
Neil Armstrong has been described as a “bashful” man with “no ego.” He now lives quietly on a farm in Ohio and could walk down the streets of most U.S. cities without being recognized. But you can’t become the first human to walk on the moon without walking a leadership path straight to the top of your field. Here’s how Armstrong did it:
If leadership were a stool, here are the four legs Huntsman Chemical Co. Founder Jon Huntsman says would support it:
People still see male leaders in a different way than they see female leaders, ongoing research indicates.
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