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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Even though it’s a cliché, it's still true that our greatest strengths can also be our greatest weaknesses. For Thomas Jefferson, his strength lay in trusting people. But when it came to financial matters—he trusted too much. To use the signature phrase of a much later president, Jefferson needed to “trust but verify.”

Nobody has to tell Google co-founder Larry Page to look for the big picture. He loves the grand quest and will challenge an employee by saying, “You’re not thinking big enough.”

At 6 feet 5 inches, 46-year-old CEO Marc Benioff is a bear of a man at the helm of Salesforce.com, a $20 billion company, which is leading a market he created from scratch. Behind his chutzpa is a cadre of leaders who have inspired Benioff during pivotal mo­­ments of his life.

Gaining creative insights doesn’t re­­quire taking off for an ashram, as Steve Jobs once famously did. But it does require preparation and application. Creativity guru Todd Henry recommends that executives set aside one hour a week to generate new ideas—“one hour, predictably scheduled, no exceptions and no violations.”

Allied Forces commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf once called Lt. Gen. William G. Pagonis the “logistical wizard” of the first Gulf War. Now Pagonis applies his wizardry to the business world. What the Army taught him about business:

Most timesaving “secrets” are the best practices you’ve been hearing about since the advent of paper clips. The trick is, you have to try them out to discover whether they match your work style. And then you have to stick with them to gain the benefits. Here are three timesaving secrets recommended by administrative professionals:

In tough economic times, organizations must focus on getting the highest possible return on their workforce investment. Here are six ways managers can help employees maximize their productivity. Guess what: These are also among the best ways to improve retention. Feel free to share these tips with managers throughout your organization.

In some ways, the story of Tom West and Data General became the foundational story of American information technology. Data General let him set up a secret “skunkworks” project staffed by misfits and propelled by creative challenge and competition. His 32-bit Eclipse MV/8000, launched in 1980, was deemed miraculous.
After 4,560 shows, Oprah Winfrey stepped down as a queen of daytime TV. Her last moments on television drew more than 18 million viewers, which leads one to reflect: How do you build a brand like Oprah?
When there’s something you want at work—an assignment, a raise, acknowledgment—make better use of your time by asking yourself who has the power to help you accomplish your goals and how well you're managing those people. Apply our seven tips to leverage your skills and get what you want.
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