Legendary football coach Bill Walsh remembers that quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young came to the San Francisco 49ers with supremely high expectations of themselves. Walsh let them know he thought they could do more than anything. The best way to do that with your own team, he says, is to use the four most powerful words:
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.
Even leaders have blind spots, those automatic behaviors that can narrow your field of view and foul up decisions. Some myths that create blind spots: “I should have all the answers, I should know what to do, and I should be able to handle things alone.” Watch for these three blind spots:
Skip straight to someone’s voice mail by using Slydial, a service that lets you leave a message for someone you know you can’t reach in person ... Take your job search to Twitter. Some companies are using Twitter to fill positions that tend to attract tons of applicants on job boards, such as administrative roles, one HR vice president tells The Wall Street Journal ... Put a meandering meeting back on track by addressing those who veer off-topic.
Good communication skills are more valuable than knowing PowerPoint inside and out, according to a new survey, in which 67% of human resources managers said they would hire someone with strong soft skills even if their technical abilities were lacking. The way HR managers see it, technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.
Ask senior executives to decode leadership for you and you’ll probably get a long, useless list of qualities. For this reason, three students of management set about grouping together what happens when leadership happens:
Cyclists at this year’s Tour de France proved you don’t have to be the “leader” to dazzle people with your leadership skills. Teammates on one team acted like leaders when they helped propel one of their fellow cyclists to win six stages of the race.
Alden Mills, founder of Perfect Fitness, received his most valuable business lessons while serving in the Navy SEALS—how to practice unconventional warfare, how to keep going even when the race is over and why you should always take along a swim buddy. One lesson he got later, though, was going with your gut.
At Google, anyone can be a leader—or at least act like one. The result is that anyone can be more effective, get more done, influence the process and support an innovative environment. To teach leadership to 20,000 employees, says Evan Wittenberg, head of global leadership development, Google leans on a few principles:
Too many leaders base hiring decisions on education and credentials alone. They fail to consider “softer” questions, such as: Is the candidate a visionary? Does the applicant think in a conceptual way? To help sharpen your focus, here are five questions to ask during job interviews:
Think like an inventor by looking for opportunity in failure. British inventor James Dyson says that in trying to develop a fine blade of high-speed air for another product, his team accidentally came up with new hand-dryer technology. “We saw, in that moment of failure, an idea that had huge advantages in another field,” he says.