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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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.
If you’re a big sports fan, you probably wear your team’s colors, know all the players and follow every game. Wouldn’t it be great if your customers loved your company that much? “Many business owners today might assume that there is no way they can elicit such passion from their customers. But with the right strategies, it is possible,” says marketing expert Maribeth Kuzmeski.
Google, the king of search engines, recently set out on a search of its own—to identify the qualities that make the highest quality managers at Google Inc., and then to replicate those qualities across the entire company. The end result: a simple, yet ele­gant, list of eight management practices that the best Google managers consistently do.
Administrative assistant Terri Vanias works for a company that’s feeling the pinch of a protracted recession. For the past couple of years, the company has had to trim the budget—and bonuses. Her company isn’t the only one finding ways to do more with less, even when it comes to recognizing and honoring employees:
People set goals all the time, but the ma­jority end up unfulfilled or abandoned. Mark Murphy, founder and CEO of Leadership IQ and author of Hard Goals, tells us about the secret to getting from where you are to where you want to be.

Food service giant Sodexo has labeled some of its employees as “hard to reach”: those who work at client locations or telework from home or whose jobs don’t involve regular use of computers or e-mail. Now it’s offering managers several methods to reach out to them to ensure that they have knowledge, team spirit and the sense of belonging that are necessary to build a highly engaged workforce.

Most employers are not considering canceling health benefits as a result of the year-old health care reform law, according to two recent surveys. The Affordable Care Act may be politically unpopular, but employers assume that it will be a business fact of life for the foreseeable future.
Leadership gurus recommend leading by example. Good advice! But here are a few situations when leading by example doesn’t work:
Don’t assume the United States has a lock on innovation. Many top U.S. inventors—Edison, Ford, Farnsworth—refined ideas from abroad. So while it’s true that some cultures are more conforming and less open to trial-and-error than ours, it’s also true there’s no guarantee of leadership.
You’ve likely heard of the Pareto Principle, or “The 80/20 Rule.” But have you heard of the principle of “the vital few and the useful many”? You can use the vital-few concept in just about every part of your life.
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