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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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Every inadequate executive fails to live up to his or her leadership role in some way. Here’s the tale of one executive who failed because he lacked—or simply didn’t practice—five essential components of good leadership:
The day after friends, colleagues and family members died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Mark Loehr asked his people to come to the office. Not to work, but to share their thoughts and feelings about what had happened and what they should do about it. In a crisis, people look to leaders for emotional guidance.

William Johnson, the man who oversees H.J. Heinz, the $10 billion food company, may taste 300 to 400 products in development during a given year. But he’s usually the last person to taste a product, and he doesn’t even have a vote. “I’ve never believed in the rule of the ‘golden tongue,’” he says.

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:

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