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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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Because Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was already almost 80 years old when he became pope in 1958, people expected him to be more of a caretaker than an innovator. But, as Pope John XXIII, Roncalli initiated one of the most sweeping eras of change in the Catholic Church since the Reformation. He did it by delegating power to those outside the Vatican walls.

Lauretta Hannon dithered around in safe jobs for nearly 20 years before taking the plunge in the career she really wanted, as a writer. Hanging onto the security of a steady paycheck is a fear that’s hard to overcome, she rationalized. She knows that life is full of losses, but she also knows that every living creature gets about 2 billion heartbeats, so we need to make the most of them.

You’d think it would have been easy for Miami Subway franchise owner Stuart Frankel to win everyone over to the $5 Footlong, right? Not so fast, my friends. Even though he was raking in the dough, Frankel had to work hard to convince the top brass at Subway that the $5 Footlong was the way to go. Here are five lessons for anyone who is trying to convince senior leadership to take a good idea and run with it.

Blogger Mike Figliuolo says this story is about empowering your employees. We think it’s more than that, but you decide: On a Friday this fall, Figliuolo saw a bright star and a black hole of leadership. Both of the actual leaders were away, so these performances came from their surrogates ...

Setting high standards for yourself is good, but here’s how to monitor your level of expectations so you’ll be tough but fair:

Everyone knows that Ben Franklin was an inventor and a statesman. Not everyone knows that he was an innovative farmer. When Franklin tried to persuade his neighbors one spring to spread plaster among their seeds to yield a better crop, the neighbors scoffed. Then, he sent them a message ...

One definition of leadership is looking for what needs to be done and then doing it. By that definition alone, Tom Mawritz is a leader. The volunteer football coach from Pittsburgh has been coaching the South Allegheny Youth Football Association for four years even though he has no one related to him in the program. Aside from his dedication, some other aspects of Mawritz’s leadership:

Read any good books lately? Maybe the next one you ought to pick up is your organization’s own policy and procedures handbook. If I were to quiz you about it right now, could you score 100%? If not, as one court recently warned, a judge may just... throw the book at you!

This recession seems to have an upside: Employees are behaving better. Don’t get too excited; the uptick in ethical behavior is probably temporary. Still, HR pros and organizational leaders can try to keep the upswing going. The best way to do that is to make creating an ethical culture a business priority. Here are a few recommendations:

Hit upon more winning ideas by capturing more ideas in the first place. New communication and online mechanisms can help. Example: Starbucks gathers and codifies ideas with www.mystarbucksidea.com, and uses decision-market approaches to evaluate them. Meanwhile, innovative companies such as Apple or Google make generating ideas an informal part of everyone’s job and motivate employees largely with nonmonetary recognition.

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