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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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A little theater can go a long way. Theater is made up of the stance you take, the tone you set, your appearance, your visibility and, to a large degree, your influence. But there’s a key distinction with leadership: You can’t fake it. Leadership is not a game of “pretend.”

New research by Right Management shows organizations prefer employees who are a good motivational fit with the team and the organization’s culture. HR pros say that interpersonal behaviors and organizational fit are bigger factors than technical skills or experience.

One of the common things that keeps managers from becoming leaders is spending too much time and attention protecting their turf. Over time, their attention gets internally focused on protecting and keeping order in their own little world ... Are most managers more concerned with their toes getting stepped on or growing bigger feet?
For a 16th century conqueror, Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar—who ruled most of northern India and Afghanistan between 1556 and 1605—was surprisingly tolerant of his subjects. Akbar provides a model of benevolent leadership.
Don’t wait for January to start building momentum for your company’s new year. Here are 10 steps from leadership blogger Terry Starbucker to plan for a fresh start:
Job descriptions are the cornerstone of communication between management and staff. Good job descriptions make sure bosses and employees alike know what kind of performance is expected. They’re the basis of every effective performance-appraisal system. At a minimum, a job description should include these elements:
Lead like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by seeing your mistakes as a growth opportunity ... Think ahead. Your career won’t be made or broken by the sudden impact of one event. It’s a series of slow changes over the course of decades, says blogger Seth Godin .... “Avoid being a commodity,” says Eggland CEO Charles Lanktree, if you want to grow in a commodity business.

The secret to new product innovation? Keep the boss away. A study by The Nielsen Company of 30 large consumer packaged-goods companies found that those whose managers kept a light touch generated 80% more new-product revenue, compared to those with heavy management involvement.

John Street learned something about leadership one day in 1981, when he was a member of the Philadelphia City Council. When the council president barred his bill aimed at helping the city’s financially troubled school district, Street seized the stenotype machine, setting off a melee that made national news. He said he learned a lesson that day about diplomacy:
Become an effective networker even if you’re an introvert, writes Devora Zack, author of Networking for People Who Hate Networking ... Know when to use—and when to skip—skycaps while traveling ... Track your personal spending with two free online tools ... Give your “audience”—the people around you—a new, great story.
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