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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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Jack Stack led an employee buyout of International Harvester’s remanufacturing division in 1982 and grew the company to 22 subsidiaries and sales of $150 million by 2000. He laid out his ideas in The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome, his manifestos for open-book management. Today we would call his career a drive for financial transparency.

Asked to look back over 30 years in the context of our tumultuous times, Jim Collins, author of the best-sellers Good to Great and Built to Last, offers these thoughts about where we find ourselves and how to proceed.

How can you be assured of enough face time with your boss to ask questions, convey critical information and dazzle her with your smarts—without coming across as a time drain? The key, advises author and workplace columnist Anita Bruzzese, is to be aware of what your boss wants and when and how she wants it.

Everyone in the financial world is stepping back and asking, “What am I supposed to be learning from this?” So says Scott Eblin, who interviewed financial-sector leaders in March for a senior executive client. The leaders had taken away four lessons ...

In 1970, the CEO of Tektronix, a firm based in Oregon and renowned for its measurement and monitoring technology, sat at a desk in the main workspace. When needing privacy, he and any other staff members could use a small, glass-windowed office in full view. His approachability helped the team click.

With employees fretting about layoffs, or reeling from recent workplace cuts, now’s a great time for team-building. You don’t need an expensive round of paintball to gain the benefits of team-building exercises. But you do need to squeeze the most out of them.

Do any of these statements sound familiar? “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done correctly.” “I can do it better (or faster) than anyone on my staff.” “My employees are already so busy.” All of them indicate that a manager is struggling to overcome roadblocks to becoming an effective delegator. (To find out whether you’re an effective delegator, take the quiz below.)

Catch a second wind by tackling a task on your “Mind Like Mush” list ... Is your boss an ‘allergic-to-details’ type? Keep project files handy that contain details he or she is likely to need ... Find travel deals by booking later ... Spruce up your administrative “portfolio” by adding a dash of visual material.

Here’s an important reminder to managers and supervisors who interview candidates and use subjective characteristics to make hiring and promotion decisions: They’d better be able to explain exactly what led them to make the decisions they made. Interviewers should keep careful notes, including the specific questions they asked, as well as how the candidate answered the question.

Employees everywhere are tapping their professional networks, as they look for new jobs or prepare for the possibility of a pink slip. The good news is that a number of strong associations already exist and can offer a string of networking benefits. Here are a few tips for

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