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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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The Washington Redskins’ hiring of an “offensive consultant” looked to some like a pure play to undermine the head coach. The Redskins owner rationalized that his hired hand was “another pair of eyes.” That only works, though, if the coach wants another set of eyes. Since that wasn’t the case, the owner appeared to be perpetuating infighting and chaos. Result? A case of “toxic management.”

Real leaders aren’t talkers; they’re doers. For example: They delegate, but what they don’t delegate is the one thing that matters. That task they do ...

Dump this worst “best” practice, 360º anonymous feedback, advises Susan Scott, author of Fierce Leadership. “Anonymous feedback doesn’t tell us what we really need to know and leaves us wondering, ‘Who thinks that about me?!’” she says. Instead, exchange feedback face-to-face as soon as possible after something occurs.

Effective leaders spend 60 percent of their time solving problems, while average leaders spend less than 30 percent of their time fixing what’s broken. That’s why breaking free from the confines of bureaucratic systems to resolve conflicts and produce meaningful results is a key characteristic of an organizational leader. Here are a few problem-solving scripts for those difficult employee discussions:

Managers and employees have opposing views of privacy when it comes to employees’ off-duty postings on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. In a recent Deloitte survey, 60% of executives said they have a right to know how employees portray their companies online, but 53% of workers said their off-duty posts are none of their employers’ business.

Gary E. McCullough, president and CEO of the Career Education Corp., recalls the role a candy bar played in one of the most important leadership lessons he’s ever learned ...

In my presentations and group coaching, I’m fond of quoting Charles de Gaulle’s observation that “The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.” Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke may be the exception to de Gaulle’s rule.

First, set aside the stereotype that the federal bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional. Sure, it’s got plenty of faults. But Uncle Sam’s best-run agencies can actually teach private-sector employers a thing or two about HR. Here are eight lessons employers can learn from the biennial agency-by-agency ranking of federal employers:

The hallmark of a good leadership story? Inspiring, motivational, memorable and short—like, two minutes short. In the age of Twitter, people don’t have time or patience for much more than that. How to build a 120-second narrative? Here are six tips:

Despite a two-year rise in job satisfaction between 2006 and 2008, about 212,000 federal workers consistently gave lower ratings than private-sector workers on their supervisors’ leadership skills, openness and willingness to help employees advance.

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