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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Clarence Birdseye was the classic American inventor who became rich by finding marketable solutions to everyday problems. Before his company came along in the early 20th century, frozen food was so bad that New York state ruled it inedible for prisoners.

Your innovation methods should produce a bunch of ideas, including “crazy” ones. After paring them down based on critique and analysis, have your designers try out the surviving ideas with “cheap and dirty” prototypes.

“In today’s reputation economy, what you stand for matters more than what you produce and sell,” says Kasper Ulf Nielsen, executive partner of Reputation Institute. “People’s willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company ... "
“Success really only comes when you nail one thing. … It requires honesty and clarity to focus, but that’s usually how businesses succeed,” says Aaron Levie, chief executive of file-sharing application Box.
As chief of the New York City and Los Angeles police departments, William Bratton experienced firsthand how powerful a force collaboration could be. Bratton offers several principles for leaders to follow in building a collaborative organization:

One principle of commando business operations: Repeat your successes. Restaurant chains are good at replication.

Culture matters. It affects both performance and outcomes. A quick review of early American ­history shows a parallel between building a house then and building an organization now.

After a diagnosis, patients at the Mayo Clinic meet with a team of specialists who help them understand what’s happening so they can decide about treatment together, says president and CEO Denis Cortese. This kind of teamwork is the stock-in-trade of Cortese, who won last year’s top leadership award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership.

Perhaps you’ve seen the show Undercover Boss, in which an executive goes undercover and tags along with an employee during his or her daily tasks.You do not have to go to this extreme to find out what is going on in your department. But ask yourself when the last time was that you left your desk to walk through the cubicles or manufacturing floor or visit a customer or a client.
Who are we to argue with the assertion that America’s greatest leader was its first? It’s all true: George Washington ran two major start-ups—the army and the presidency—in addition to his farm and other businesses. Not to mention the Constitutional Convention, which he chaired. In a nutshell, here’s how Washington worked.
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