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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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Charlie Munger, able partner of financier Warren Buffett, got frustrated early in his career because, as Buffett describes it, “he thought he was smarter than everyone else he was working for. So he decided he was going to do something smart for his most important client—himself ..."

In 2007, CEO Michael Lewis, ILD Corp., knew about social-networking sites but he didn’t participate in any of them. The wake-up call came when an em­­ployee googled ILD Corp. and the result was ugly: dozens of customer complaints about charges and billing. Thus began Lewis’ migration from the back pew to the pulpit, where social media is concerned.

Are you a rule-maker or breaker? Get out front and stay there. There are rule-makers, rule-takers and rule-breakers: Rule-makers codify strategies within an industry. Rule-takers play by those rules. Rule-breakers change the game.

Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry first noticed the need for their company when they shared a house with three friends. In looking for cleaning products that didn’t have harsh, toxic ingredients, Ryan and Lowry came up empty-handed. Thus the idea for Method home-cleaning products was kindled.

"The only sus­tainable source of competitive advantage is innovation. It’s that simple. And that hard, " says Andrew Razeghi, who teaches innovation at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies. He says the real reason for Detroit’s failure to innovate lies in its rewards system ...

When the World Trade Center was hit on 9/11, Fire Department Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer happened to already be on the scene. That made him the first FDNY fire chief to take command. What we’ve learned since then, he says, is that leaders don’t simply “com­­mand and control” during a catastrophic event. They go beyond that.

Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet hit a few bumps early in her term, but went on to reach Chile’s highest-ever approval rating. Even while she was president, she was being recruited to lead what would become a new initiative by the United Nations. U.N. Women would be the first high-profile inter­national agency dedicated to gender.

To paraphrase business writer Daniel Pink, the future will belong to those who can flex, adapt, empathize, tell stories and create. Theater performers, whose stock in trade is flexibility, adaptability and creativity, could teach us a thing or two.

An organization’s health results in part from its ability to renew itself faster than its competitors. Researchers from McKinsey & Co. use a process called the “five A’s” to build a competitive advantage.

Little is known of founding father Ethan Allen beyond his bold predawn attack on Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution. But the roots of this fire­­brand’s leadership extend deep below his exploits with the Green Mountain Boys, his band of Vermont volunteers.
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