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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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.

Moving on up can be thorny if you’re not prepared to make the transition from peer to supervisor. David Peck, aka “The Recovering Leader,” offers six points to consider during and after a promotion:

An annual “Ethics & Workplace Survey” by Deloitte reveals that one-third of employed Americans plan to look for a new job once the economy recovers.
Your organization likely tracks the individual performance of current new hires to determine their contribution. But most employers don’t measure and compare the aggregate performance of new hires year after year. There are different approaches to measuring quality of hire, but these two are among the most effective and widely used, according to HR consultants:
When she first stepped into a leadership position, Anne Berkowitch, co-founder and CEO of social-networking company SelectMinds, believed she should be like a military general. Now, she says, she envisions the way you steer a boat. “If you think about how you steer a boat, it’s always from the back,” she says, “and I’ve moved toward the back of the boat.”
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