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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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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.

You've scrupulously avoided office gossip, but that isn't protecting you from being the subject of this week's chitchat. Wanting to jump quickly to your own defense is a normal reaction, but it might exacerbate the situation. Follow these steps to salvage your reputation and stop the gossip.

More than half of senior executives say they’re interrupted about once every 30 minutes, according to a Center for Creative Leadership survey. Here’s where assistants can play a vital role. Stave off interruptions by partnering with your boss, using these tactics.

Question: I can’t seem to get promoted, even though I am well-qualified. My performance evaluations are excellent, and I have received numerous awards. The company posts promotional opportunities so that anyone can apply, but the “winning” applicant always seems to have been selected in advance. Obviously, politics plays a great part in these selections, and I am not a political person. I do interact with people, but I just don’t do it with an agenda in mind. How can I get ahead? —  No Way Out

The baby of the family may get the most attention, but the oldest gets the cash. That’s the message of a CareerBuilder survey that found employees who were firstborn in their families were more likely to earn $100,000 or more annually compared to their siblings.

Given the economic crisis, do a quick audit of the financial people working for you to see who are best equipped to operate in a pressure-cooker. Consider their disposition toward others and their ability to lead, not just their proficiency with spreadsheets.

The best way to cultivate passion in your employees is to exude it yourself. If you love what you’re doing and express your enthusiasm, others will follow your lead.

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