For the past several months, The New York Times has been running interviews on leadership with the CEOs of well-known organizations. The best one in the series so far is the interview with Dave Novak, CEO of Yum Brands. I’d like to share six thoughts from him on how to be a great leader, along with my take on how to follow through on those thoughts.
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.
Question: “Although I am considered the lead supervisor in my department and have practically run the place for the past year, the company recently chose someone else to be department manager. An executive who is new to our company made this decision. He didn’t offer me an interview or make any effort to get to know me. I am having trouble accepting the situation and feel very resentful. How can I get past this? And when I talk with this executive, how do I convince him that I would have been the right person for the job?” — Passed Over
General Electric’s CEO emeritus Jack Welch says leadership in tough times is the same as it ever was: “to do and dream at the same time.” Problem is, because of economic gridlock, most of today’s leaders are only doing. Why?
Should a leader jump into the media spotlight, even at the risk of damaging his image? Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, says yes. A leader must communicate with the outside world as part of being a good corporate citizen. British CEO Stephen Martin agrees: Leaders must offer their business perspective to the public, or someone else will.
Dr. Robert Eliot is famous for saying, “Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.” The cardiologist has even more great advice about keeping stress in check:
Ram Charan, leadership guru and author of Execution, offers what he calls the essential qualities leaders have to possess in hard times. For starters, honesty, which isn't easy, especially when the wind is constantly shifting. “How can you tell people what you believe,” he asks, “when you can’t be confident that it is right?”
True or false: Employees are either creative or they’re not—creativity isn’t a skill you can teach. False. Managers can play a key role in creating an environment in which employees will want to look for new ideas. Share this article with your supervisors to help tap employee creativity.
When Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America, considers someone for a leadership role, she goes beyond standard questioning to discover whether it’s a good fit. Think of it as an extended interview.
Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey gets credit for several firsts. He’s best known for signing the first black major league baseball player, Jackie Robinson; drafting the first Hispanic, Roberto Clemente; inventing the minor league farm system; and introducing the batting helmet. Rickey, however, did none of those things alone ...
This month's collection of real-world quick tips from American business leaders, brought to you by members of The Alternative Board.