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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Trying to explain why your company or industry is a mess? Spare them the “perfect storm” metaphor.

True leadership is less about raw talent than expertise. So says Malcolm Gladwell, the business and science guru. Here’s his take on expertise: Real leaders aren’t just “naturals.” They are masters who have slaved at their craft for 10 years. “And what’s 10 years?” Gladwell asks. “Well, it’s roughly how long it takes to put in 10,000 hours of hard practice."

Whatever you do, don’t cancel a meeting because of a tightened budget. Employees and customers need to see the leadership team standing in front of them, sending a “we’re in this together” message.

While cleaning out his attic, a British business leader stumbled upon some notes on leadership from the ’50s. The notes were handed out at Eaton Hall near Chester, England, during his military officer training. Dated in tone but clear, concise and purposeful, the notes transcend their original military context.

Discrimination at work is perfectly legal in some countries, and foreign-born managers and executives who work for U.S. employers may sometimes say things that show ignorance of U.S. laws. Those words can come back to haunt an employer that is sued for age discrimination.

It was a humdinger of a finish to the New York Giants-Cincinnati Bengals football game last fall, particularly at the two-minute warning. What you would not have seen is the leadership that brought the scene to your TV. Back in a windowless production trailer making it happen was CBS crew director Bob “Fish” Fishman.

It hasn’t been much fun at a whole lot of workplaces lately. Half an hour into a meeting, one CEO asked, “Are we having fun yet? In the past 24 hours, who’s had the worst business experience?” As they joked about each horror story, the tension lifted.

Say a deadly listeria outbreak is traced back to a food plant you own. How do you handle the crisis? CEO Michael McCain of Maple Leaf Foods faced that challenge when an outbreak of listeria led to several deaths. Despite the grim events, McCain was named CEO of the year for 2008 by the Canadian Press.

Are you a situational leader or an emotional leader? Situational leadership depends on the kind of direction and support each of your followers needs. Emotional leadership is situational, too, but based more on the theory of emotional intelligences than on the level of your involvement ...

Capt. Chesley Sullenberger made his leadership clear when he landed a plane intact on the Hudson River in January, saving 155 lives. While “the miracle on the Hudson” did seem miraculous, it was mainly the result of preparation and a cool head. Lesson: Stretch as far as you can to prepare to lead when disaster strikes.

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