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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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In a meeting last year, CEO Jan W. found herself in an awkward situation. “My whole sales staff was talking and talking about an account that they thought was critical,” she says. “I didn’t know anything about the account, and I was too embarrassed to admit it.”
Leaders stay levelheaded in the face of a crisis. Instead of panicking, they grasp facts quickly and make order out of chaos.
 

“This is your own business,” James Nordstrom tells his employees. “Don’t listen to us in Seattle. Listen to your customer.” 

To round out your qualifications as a leader, you can fix almost any personal defect. Proof: Citigroup executive and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. 

Leaders often have to break out of the molds other people set for them, says leadership guru Warren Bennis. They have to invent themselves.

Bill Parcells, who has already led three National Football League teams from mediocrity to excellence and is working on his fourth (the Dallas Cowboys), operates on three basic rules:

High principle in business is in high fashion at the moment. But does it really work?

Sir Ernest Shackleton never did get to walk across the South Pole. The explorer’s huge ego had betrayed him when he set off for Antarctica in the dead of winter, despite warnings. Instead, in January 1915, ice trapped his ship, Endurance, within sight of the goal. In October, the crew abandoned ship, and as they camped on an ice floe, the Endurance sank.

You may think of them as “merely vices,” but succumbing to even one of the seven deadly sins can cripple your ability to lead.

Staying one step ahead of the IRS isn't easy for most small businesses. One wrong step—a forgotten form, a lost receipt—could invite Uncle Sam's wrath.

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