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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How does a leader impact a turnaround? Over the past five years, authors Joe Frontiera and Dan Leidl spoke to both well-known and lesser-known turnaround masters, leaders who have altered the fortunes of their organizations. Remarkably, six distinct stages emerged:

At school, they call it bullying. In corporate America, you might recognize it as executive hubris. The effect is the same: The person in charge shuts others down, leaving behind a demoralized culture. What makes some leaders do it?

The argument rages as to whether big or small companies are better catalysts for innovation. Economist Joseph Schumpeter argued both sides, saying in 1909 that small companies were more inventive, but in 1942 that big firms have more incentive to invest in new products because they can scale up quickly to big demand.
Margaret Brent was not only the first woman to act as an attorney in the New World, but she was the first private owner of immense tracts of land in Maryland and Virginia and is best known as the first woman in America to ask for the right to vote.

“If only I had a bigger budget (for my department or my company), all my problems would disappear.” You’ve likely had a similar thought at some point. But is it true? Great companies, and leaders, excel at finding a frugal path when solving problems.

Ford Motor, led by CEO Alan Mulally, is fighting for American manufacturing with a single strategy: simplify. This One Ford strategy means selling the same model, built the same way, in all markets.

Customers love telling about their experiences. They tweet about the latest movie they saw. They Facebook about their favorite restaurant. “Companies that aren’t embracing social media today are missing out on huge opportunities to capitalize on the voices of their customers,” says Ron Kaufman.

Let’s have another look at Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who ditched a commercial jetliner in the Hudson River with no loss of life, as a study of leadership in crisis. In a crisis, there's no time for debate. Just good training, quick orientation and assessment, calm decisions and immediate action. Five lessons we can take away:

John Chambers, Cisco's CEO, survived both the Internet bubble burst in 2000 and the financial bubble burst in 2008, when so many of his colleagues did not. He refused to let the huge computer company stagnate. Chambers pushed Cisco to innovate in videoconferencing, idea generation and sharing, and acquisitions.
Teman and Teran Evans were headed into a buzz saw as they faced the recession with bachelor’s degrees in architecture. Fortunately, they did graduate work in design at Harvard and then founded their own firm, Dioscuri. Now they’re celebrity designers. They say you have to adapt to survive.
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