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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Executive Leadership is pleased to present this time-machine interview with Thomas Alva Edison, who perfected the art of invention in 19th century America and touched off a technological revolution in the 20th century.
Before administrative professional Ilja Kraag wrestles for too long with a difficult task at work, she checks in with her peers. “How do you do it?” she asks them. That trait—reaching out to others—is what makes Kraag a natural leader. The org chart may not show it, but Kraag leads her peers by setting the right example.
Lay yourself off? That’s what the owner of Accurate Background Check in Florida did when business slowed down. She took another job and retained her nine longtime employees.

In college, Ian Ballantine wrote a paper on the potential profitability of paperback books. At that time, paperbacks were asso­ciated with “trash novels,” but one publishing house, Penguin, was publishing paperback editions of mainstream books. Penguin snapped up Ballantine, who later founded Ballantine Books.

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?

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