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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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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

Gayle Igarashi, a secretary at Maluhia Hospital in Honolulu, was forever changed the moment she saw stroke patients, who’d lost the ability to speak, interacting with one of her therapy dogs. Seeing how patients connected with the animals and how it comforted them led Igarashi to launch her “Tails of Aloha” animal therapy program.

Face tough issues early to avoid being viewed as a lie-back-and-wait leader ... Rein in marketing budgets and spur creativity with a competitive “jump ball,” as Wal-Mart is doing ... Take efficiency to a higher level by tapping the expertise of your managers ... Use a threat to gin up innovations.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, there are many good reasons to launch a one-person HR consultancy as the economy sputters. Despite the layoffs and budget cuts, downsized organizations are still hiring HR consultants and contractors to perform a range of basic services.

It may feel like the sky is falling, but if you use emotionally charged words in front of your team members, you will only heighten their fear and panic. Contain the fear by crafting a message that sounds realistic but not hopeless.

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