Any time you look at only the successes, you will have skewed results. Leaders must look beyond “survivorship bias” at a larger body of leadership research. Good leaders focus on where the bullet holes are; great leaders consider where they aren’t.
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.
Lately, Gianfranco Zaccai spends his time lying in a hospital bed. He’s not sick; he’s researching ideas for a health care client. As president at Continuum, Zaccai knows that he and his staff find the best ideas when they’re observing clients or putting themselves in clients’ shoes. He insists that staffers “go to where the lion is hunting, not the zoo.”
The reason Taco Bell's admin team came up with its "Team of Two" training program is clear when you listen to admin Karen Walters describe managers in her building. "There were a few managers in the group who maybe weren't using admins to their greatest capabilities," explains Walters. "In their defense, they didn't have a good model." So the admin team decided to give them one...
At work, numbers speak volumes. If you can’t show, quantitatively, that something is improving, then how can you really know it’s improving? It’s not surprising, then, that more admins are being asked to set SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals—to be evaluated against.
Even though it’s a cliché, it's still true that our greatest strengths can also be our greatest weaknesses. For Thomas Jefferson, his strength lay in trusting people. But when it came to financial matters—he trusted too much. To use the signature phrase of a much later president, Jefferson needed to “trust but verify.”