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 leader’s ideas are only as good as his ability to cut through the noise. Consider how RIM CEO Jim Balsillie introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook—his company’s answer to the iPad. His words might be brilliant, if only anyone could understand them. And the PlayBook might be a superior product, if only leadership could sell it.

From the ranting heard at political protests and on reality TV, it’s clear these are angry times. The problem is that many of us don’t know how to effectively handle an angry ranter when confronted with one. We can learn much from customer service professionals, who have honed their skills in defusing a hothead—and not taking it personally.

Teachers at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School call working from home a “primo perk.” A high percentage of the school’s 600 employees are young, so the organization focuses its benefits on the needs of the twenty- and thirtysomethings who work there.
After the death of George Steinbrenner, people asked whether a lower-key approach by the New York Yankees owner could have accomplished just as much. Research suggests that you need a balance between drive and domination. Steinbrenner’s hero—surprise!—was Gen. George Patton.
If a star employee has ever surprised you during an exit interview by saying she had been dissatisfied with her job for a long time, you’re not alone. It’s common to find a vast divergence between employee satisfaction and management’s take on the situation. Managers frequently make five big mistakes that can send your valued employees packing. Luckily, they’re easy to fix.

German Gen. Erwin Rommel earned a reputation during World War II as a brilliant field tactician whose aggressive strikes often dazed and confused larger enemy forces. But Rommel alienated junior officers by expecting perfection without keeping them apprised of his thinking.

The Roman emperor Hadrian, who ruled just after 100 A.D., is a model for leaders to this day. Examples of his good governance: wisdom, tolerance, modesty, legacy.

Getting good employees these days may seem like shooting fish in a barrel, but keeping the best people never has been and never will be easy. A full quarter of your highest-potential employees may plan to jump ship within a year. Mistakes to avoid:

“My senior admin recently asked us what we should discuss during our monthly admin meetings,” a reader wrote. With time at a premium, this is a good point, as there’s an ever-increasing need for groups to get more real work done during regular meetings. Suggestions for making your next admin meeting more productive:

If you feel as though you’re doing more but getting less done, it may be because you’re still multitasking. Leadership expert Stever Robbins may have put his finger on why: You like to multitask. “Just don’t expect to accomplish very much doing it,” he says. Robbins has developed a system that can help you maintain concentration and do more in less time.

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