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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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.
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.
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