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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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Mind your business P’s & Q’s ... Ask permission before giving feedback ... Pose the right questions when you’re waiting ... Is a cluttered desk the sign of a cluttered mind?

3M Companies appears poised to settle a high-profile age discrimination suit. Earlier this year, the company filed a joint motion for preliminary ap­proval of a class-action settlement involving approximately 7,000 workers. If the Ramsey County District Court agrees, the employees (and their attorneys) will split $12 million.

Common wisdom says you’re a leader because you’re good at leading. But research suggests that you’re a leader because you’re good at claiming the authority to lead. That’s a necessary lesson for women managers, say Harvard professors Hannah Riley Bowles and Kathleen McGinn.
To come up with a billion-dollar idea, say ideation experts Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne, you need to phrase the right questions in a “hard” way that forces thinkers to look for major departures from current practices, significant exceptions versus aver­age consumer needs, and cost differences.
Question:  "I’m not sure how to handle a new employee whose religious beliefs prevent her from acknowledging Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, or birthdays. In our small business, the owners have always encouraged us to celebrate these holidays. This employee won’t attend our office Christmas party, but she accepts the Christmas card that contains her annual bonus. She doesn't recognize Easter or Valentine’s, but she eats the candy that the owners give us. She leaves the room when we celebrate birthdays, then later goes back to get a piece of cake. This behavior upsets her coworkers, who are starting to act very resentful towards her. They feel that she’s being hypocritical and that if she’s not going to celebrate, she should refuse the gifts and treats. The employee says that when she was hired, she told the owners she would not be able to participate in holiday celebrations. But now the rest of us feel really down, because we are having to change for her."  — Nan

In the aftermath of Japan’s tsunami and earthquake, many companies scrambled to help. And no company did a better job in the midst of the crisis than Google. Why?

What do your people wish they could tell the person at the top, if only they had the courage? 1. You’re a horrible leader. 2. You put a new thing on my ‘to do’ list. What are you taking off? 3. Stop blaming us. 4. You never listen to us.

While theft is a firing offense at Caesars, so too is running an experiment without a control group. Gary Loveman, CEO, president and chairman of Caesars Entertainment, puts a continued focus on data analysis and small-scale testing that can scale into companywide initiatives.

Most successful businesses take the time to develop a written marketing plan. Here are 10 quick steps for building a plan that’s right for your business, your goals and your marketplace.
In 2008, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz just knew he had a product that would ­re-energize the company’s tired sales. Called “Sorbetto,” it was a twist on a frozen-­yogurt drink. But customers didn’t like the sugary con­coction, and neither did baristas. “Sorbetto, we did too quickly, and that was my fault,” Schultz says.
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