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 1946, a Romanian nun on a train climbing the Himalayan foothills de­­cided to leave her convent and help the poor, while living among them. She was inspired and felt the need to act. Is it possible to inspire and motivate the way Mother Teresa did? What can we learn from her?
Standing in the business books section at a bookstore, Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels, discovered the book that would save his business. He found a bolt of inspiration in a book by midcentury psychologist Abraham Maslow, who said humans have five levels of needs ...
With a legacy as author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and as a thought leader, Julia Ward Howe influenced the course of the Civil War. She stuck to her resolution of writing what she thought, no matter whom it offended (her own husband included). Yet, she was known as a builder. "Ambitious people climb," she said, "but faithful people build."

As a federal prosecutor, DeMaurice Smith never backed off. That’s precisely how Smith, more lately as head of the NFL Players Association, secured a good contract for his members in 2011. His secrets? Three P’s:

As World War II came to an end, Secretary of State George Marshall told the State Department’s director of policy planning, George Kennan, to get his team together and come up with an economic relief plan for Europe. Marshall didn’t become bogged down in telling Kennan how to do his job. But he did offer “two deeply serious and unforgettable words,” says Kennan. “Avoid trivia.”

Nancy McKinstry, CEO of the multinational publisher Wolters Kluwer, describes herself as an analytical person. She also calls herself an “insider-outsider” who knows her company thoroughly from the inside but also is an outsider—she became its first non-Dutch CEO and the first woman to lead it. She says she likes hiring people who have overcome adversity because ...

Job descriptions are the cornerstone of communication between managers and their employees. After all, it's hard for supervisors to measure job effectiveness during performance reviews unless they and the employee both know what's expected. Here's how to do job descriptions right.

The pace of change seems to grow more urgent every year. Some see it as an attribute of leadership in the 21st century—right up there with judgment and courage. Consider, then, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who spread the speed creed 70 years before it was cool.

Why did the industrial revolution begin in England, instead of, say, France or Germany? Two economists offer an explanation. They say the reason is Britain had more “tweakers”—skilled engineers and artisans who refined the signature inventions of the industrial age.

How does a top executive like Bob Pozen get it all done? Pozen has been a top dog at Fidelity and MFS Investment Man­age­ment, as well as an attorney, law school professor, business school professor and author. His tips for extreme productivity:

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