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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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Among the many things I like about our group coaching program, Next Level Leadership, my favorite is when high-potential leader participants share with each other what they learned in their senior-executive shadow days. I’ve kept notes about the senior executive traits that the group coaching participants admire the most. Here are five traits of that show up on the list again and again:
Pull audience members' attention away from their BlackBerrys by asking a lot of questions, says Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group ... How did Apple sell more than $150 million worth of iPads on the product’s launch day? It spent 25 years earning the privilege of delivering personal and relevant messages to their customers, says blogger and author Seth Godin ...

Low morale can easily creep into a department without supervisors realizing it. But once it’s there, it’s hard to root out. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for, according to the new book, Leadership When the Heat’s On:

Use these four painless and stimulating steps to get people to accept change.

All along, Gen. Ambrose Burnside had supported an unorthodox plan: Dig a long tunnel, load it with dynamite and blow a hole in the Confederate lines defending Petersburg, Va., a vital rail hub. But a last-minute change from above threw Burnside into a funk, and he made a leadership error that cost the Union a speedy end to the Civil War and relieved Burnside of his command.

When times get tough, tough organizations get transparent. The more connected employees are with the financial big picture, the better they can generate revenue-boosting ideas. Is your C-suite boss seeking new ways to engage front-line employees by keeping them informed? Here’s how you can support his efforts.

If you want your organization’s employees to work more productively, pay more attention to them. During the economic crisis of 2009, the most effective business strategy turned out to be increased supervision and management of employees. Research by RainmakerThinking shows that organizations that combined three effective strategies during the recession had better financial results than others:

Heads-up when you hear arguments about who’s in charge. That means no one’s in charge ... The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April points to more than a pile of ad hoc exceptions to safety rules. It also points to an epic failure of leadership. Who was in charge: BP, the well’s owner, or Transocean, the rig’s owner?
Question: “I’m not sure how to handle my new supervisory position. Before being promoted, I was friends with my former co-workers, so I’m finding it difficult to tell them what to do.  I love being a supervisor, but it’s hard to be as tough as my superiors want me to be. In a perfect world, I would like to be both a boss and a friend. However, I’m beginning to realize that to get things done, I need to be less of a friend and more of a boss. I know I have to demonstrate leadership, but I’m afraid this will turn me into an unlikeable person. After all, does anyone really like their boss?” — Nice Guy
Frenemies aren't just found on reality TV shows. They're everywhere. Even Apple has one: Google. If you have "frenemies" — colleagues with whom you have unproductive relationships — they can suck the energy right out of you. But don't give up! Identify and deactivate these most challenging, difficult people at work:
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