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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It would have been easy for helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson Jr. to fly away from the scene of carnage. But he and his crew—appalled when they came upon their fellow U.S. troops killing civilians in the Vietnamese village of My Lai— landed their helicopter between the shooting soldiers and fleeing villagers, pointed their guns at the Americans and told them to stop firing.
So, can leadership be taught? Jay Conger, executive director of the University of Southern California’s Leadership Institute, had his doubts. He embarked on a two-year study to find out.
Avoid falling prey to the most common lie leaders tell themselves
It remains an irony and a mark of Chief Joseph’s leadership that, although he carried no authority over anyone except his own small tribe, everyone considered him the great chief of the prosperous Northwest tribes known as the Nez Perce. Through broken treaties and broken promises, Joseph still stands as an icon of bravery, compassion and leadership.
Most people never heard of Gary Kelly until one of his planes slid off the runway at Chicago’s Midway Airport in December. But Kelly has been cleaning up after crashes for a while. For Kelly, leadership means getting the team behind you.
Leaders run a high risk of burnout as they move from one real-world challenge to the next. Stay strong by realizing that you need to continually learn and grow in three key areas:
Herman Edwards, newly named head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs football team, always had leadership in his bones.
Ritz-Carlton President and COO Simon Cooper has a simple way of helping his people develop their leadership abilities. When someone has an idea and says “We can do it,” Cooper allows that person to lead the process, provided that he or she can develop a workable strategy.
After he’d already served as governor of New York, published more than a dozen books, served two terms as president of the United States and won the Nobel Peace Prize, Theodore Roosevelt said these words about leadership:
For a while now, General Electric’s top dogs have been studying companies they admire, like Dell and Toyota, seeing how they do things and trying to figure out exactly what propels them to the leading edge. The GE group settled on five “growth leadership traits” common to all of those top companies … and copied them, of course.
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