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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What connects Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Samuelson and NBA championship coach Phil Jackson? Fair question. Both became experts in their chosen fields and benefited from the teachings of others. They both, in turn, dedicated significant portions of their careers to refining what they learned and then passing those lessons on to others.

You may be using Twitter.com already. If not, it’s worth taking a second look. Why? Because savvy businesses are using the tool to do some of what you do already—smooth out the information flow between leadership and everyone else. Here's how Twitter can help you on the job:

Jerry Galison struck gold twice—not by great new ideas or luck alone but because of careful setup and follow-through. Galison/Mudpuppy hit the Inc. 500, an index for fast-growing businesses, in 1989 and the Inc. 5000 two decades later.

“Don’t think your boss is getting overwhelmed with praise,” says Quint Studer, CEO of Studer Group and author of Straight A Leadership: Alignment, Action, Accountability. “Bosses hear what’s wrong all the time. Very rarely do they hear what’s right.”

Joseph Plumeri, chairman and chief executive of insurance brokerage Willis Group Holdings, once was a command-and-control leader. “Being too exciting and too motivational is overbearing, and it turns people off,” he says. So he revamped his leadership style to focus on collaboration and debate.

Family-owned businesses don’t get much bigger than Toyota. Yet, both company President Akio Toyoda and his father, honorary Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda, were curiously silent in January and February during the recall of about 8 million cars. It remains to be seen how badly this recall will hurt Toyota’s standing. But the Toyodas’ apparent unwillingness to take the heat sets a poor example.

There’s a common type of workplace theft, and it has nothing to do with missing office supplies, reports a recent OfficeTeam survey. Nearly one in three employees interviewed said that a co-worker has taken credit for their idea. “Being proactive in sharing your vision with your manager and colleagues early on can help ensure others know the concept originated with you,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.

Without you realizing it, low morale can creep into your organization. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for:

Layoffs, pay cuts and an uncertain economy have left many organizations with fewer employees to do the work—often for the same or less money. Not all of those employees are handling it well. Here are nine ways you can deal with economy-induced employee stress and help your employees focus on their work:

The waning days of this recession pose three particular problems: absentee leadership, changing cultures and underperforming employees. Here are three solutions, adapted from “Leading during a downturn”:

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