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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In 1805, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark came to an unexpected fork in the Missouri River. According to all the intelligence the explorers had received, this river wasn’t supposed to exist. Facing a pressing decision, Lewis and Clark started gathering facts on which to base their eventual decision. Ultimately, Lewis and Clark were correct, largely because they used these tactics:
IBM has always been known for its leadership training. So, why did it decide to rewrite its own book on leadership? In 2002, incoming CEO Sam Palmisano decided that the Internet really did change everything, and Big Blue’s leadership model would have to change.
One day, leadership guru Jack Stack was fishing—and failing miserably at it—when he noticed an old-timer standing nearby on the dock. Stack asked the old guy what he (Stack) was doing wrong.
Adopt these principles, from leadership guru John C. Maxwell, to win over your people:
If you’re lucky, you’re leading a synergistic culture. That means you’re pulling in the same direction as the people in the ranks. If you’re not lucky, you’re leading an antagonistic culture. That means you’re pushing outlooks that most of your people don’t value.
People are afraid to become leaders because the role demands visibility and vulnerability. Even people already in leadership positions often shirk the essential part of their jobs requiring their presence at the front of the pack. It’s impossible to lead without putting yourself out there. To be a leader means:
Mocked as “a third-rate Western lawyer” and a “fourth-rate lecturer,” Abraham Lincoln turned out to be a political genius: not because he mastered politics but because of his emotional strengths:
Everybody pays lip service to customer contact. Real leaders actually pick up the phone.
“I can’t get anybody here to work as hard as I do!” That’s a common complaint among managers.
Former Sunbeam Chairman and CEO Albert Dunlap thinks relying on consensus is a copout.
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