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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Nokia went from being the undisputed king of cell phones to a company doing nearly everything wrong. Nearly a year ago, CEO Stephen Elop came on board to turn around the company. His strategy:

When Wright L. Lassiter III came on board as CEO of the Alameda County Medical Center, and its flagship, Highland Hospital, it was losing millions of dollars each year. What followed was a turnaround so successful it now serves as a model worth emulating.

Cartoon creator and producer Chuck Jones credits his success to a lack of constant supervision early on and his father’s string of business failures. Every time his father launched a business, he’d print new stationery and pencils. Using his cast-offs, Jones drew and drew. Here are his six success tips.

At Lush, happy people make happy soap, literally—the handcrafted cosmetics are fresh, free of preservatives and made with ingredients not tested on animals. The lesson of how Lush cosmetics grew from one small store to a worldwide chain in 44 countries holds valuable insights for any small business in its growth stage.
Because Google makes key management decisions based on its annual employee survey, it wants maximum participation. So the company created an online real-time leaderboard showing response rates by department and manager.

Though big can be beautiful, the Kraft Foods behemoth was too weighed down by its centralized structure to be nimble or responsive. So in 2007, Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld initiated a rewiring of the organization to put more power in the hands of business units. She managed to get the entire executive team — even those that did not fully support the idea — to own the team's decision. How did she get such solid alignment?

Some leaders have an almost magical ability to predict where the market is going and take the right risk at the right time. One such case study is Andy Grove, co-founder of microprocessing giant ­Intel. His four tips for staying one step ahead:

Lee Iacocca's book “Where have all the leaders gone?” came out in 2007, but his “Nine C’s of Leadership,” are more relevant today than ever. The former president of Ford and Chrysler warns leaders to tell the truth, even when painful. "When you spin, people stop listening."

Knowing how to ask the right questions about the future can be more valuable than knowing the right answers about the past. Seven questions to help steer your business toward future growth:

T.A. McCann, vice president of research and development at Research in Motion, advises letting your people run their own show. He recommends: 1. Making everyone CEOs. 2. Holding them accountable. 3. Keeping teams small and agile.
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