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 October, we celebrate Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World. What history seems to have glossed over is some poor leadership on his part.
Robert Bruner, dean of the University of Virginia’s business school, offers these answers on what it takes for leaders to draw followers: moral authority, a credible plan—and the loudest megaphone.
Think meditation is “too soft” for hard-core leaders? Think again. The U.S. Navy teaches “holistic leadership” ... Make wise use of limited new-hire funds by screening interviewees with this question: “What’s the toughest feedback you’ve ever received and how did you learn from it?” ... Brainstorming sessions may not be the best way to generate the best ideas ...
When it’s time for company leadership to tap employees to work on a new, interdepartmental project, whom do you think they’ll pick? And if the company is forced to restructure and lay off, who would least likely be sacrificed? The cross-functional whiz, or the employee who works in a silo?

Are your employees too happy? Too satisfied? Are you tired of being pestered with ideas for saving time and money, improving morale or making work more rewarding? Here’s how to deal with those happy little people:

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 ...
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