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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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.
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.
You probably think you know your “people people.” They’re the nurturers, the team players, the diplomats. In truth, that ain’t the half of it. Researchers studied the psychological tests of more than 7,000 professionals and identified four aspects of “relational” work: influence, interpersonal facilitation, relational creativity and team leadership. Here’s what it means:
If the people at your new job are ridiculously happy to see you, beware. You’ve just inherited a big mess. As early as the interview stage, you may see warnings. Look for problems like these:
Over recent decades, the thinking has held that leaders should be evaluated solely on performance, usually defined as financial performance. Now, several Harvard researchers say that providing meaning and purpose for employees is an equally important gauge of leadership.
The earlier you face a crisis and make difficult corrections, the better. Just ask Robert Hass, who took over as CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. in 1989.
How do you hire and keep people who share your mission, work ethic and what you believe in? When leadership coach and author John C. Maxwell moved his company from San Diego to Atlanta, he sat his employees down and went over this starter set of values:
Even if you lack formal authority, you can still practice what business professor and researcher Robert E. Kelly calls “small-L leadership” by bringing people together to complete a job.