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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Whether or not the marketplace has you feeling backed into a corner, ask yourself several strategic questions. For starters: What’s the most important thing? There’s no right or wrong answer, but your market may have changed. Spot it and hit the reset button.

How can you increase employee health and decrease health costs? Many of America’s best companies have found that a few best practices do a remarkably good job of improving employee health and controlling health care expenses.
A statewide leadership program in Kansas is training people how to get things done. Bob Sage is a case in point. Promoted to police chief of Rose Hill in 2002, he wanted to learn new ways to teach and lead. “Cops are alpha males, and everyone is trying to be leader of the pack,” he says. “You tend to have a real dominant personality.” The Kansas Community Leadership Initiative taught him different ways people learn and various approaches to lead them.

Plenty of managers feel like they’re between a rock and a hard place because they have someone on their team who produces great results but alienates almost everyone around them. They're prima donnas! If you have a prima donna on your team who keeps playing games, bite the bullet and fire the person. Here's why.

Plenty of organizations offer flexible schedules, allow telework and let parents slip out early once in a while to catch a child’s soccer game. But in many workplaces, those benefits are perks that only managers and white-collar workers enjoy. Yet several studies show that when low-wage employees have some flexibility in their hours, teamwork improves and unscheduled absences abate. If your organization’s lower-wage employees are candidates for flex, consider these eight strategies.

In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, protagonist Holden Caulfield runs across an obscenity scribbled on an elementary school wall and tries to rub it out so that young children won’t be exposed to its ugliness. The scene is memorable for a couple of reasons ...
In case you missed it, The New York Times recently profiled the new CEO of Xerox, Ursula Burns. The article, and her quotes within it, focused on one of my favorite topics: leadership transitions. There’s a lot of valuable perspective and advice in the article, but I want to pick up on one particular aspect: How do you handle it when you move from being a member of the team (no matter how big) to the leader of that same team?

A growing body of academic research suggests that firms incur big costs when they cut workers. Beyond the obvious costs of severance and outplacement, there’s also a morale and productivity toll on remaining employees. Consider following the lead of companies that have avoided layoffs:

Nothing right is going to happen with your team if the basic structure isn’t right. Some guidelines: 1. Look for signs that it’s too big. 2. Dispense with tactical trivia. 3. Enforce healthy norms. 4. Have your team review its structure.

Do you have the latest must-have CEO accessory? Aflac president and COO Paul Amos II is among the leaders benefiting from a chief of staff ... Motivate a team to produce the desired results by providing them with feedback that goes beyond “what?” “when?” “who?” and “how?” Ask “why?” more often. It’s well worth it, even when time-consuming, says executive Terry Starbucker, who pens the TerryStarbucker.com blog.

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