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.

Kate believes the meeting is a huge waste of time because colleagues always ramble on when it’s their turn to speak, and there’s no real structure to the gathering. At this point, says family and divorce lawyer-mediator Laurie Puhn, Kate can handle this situation in two ways. One is a communication blunder; the other a communication wonder.

When IBM’s Robert W. Moffat Jr. led the company’s personal-computer business, he had an unusual leadership tool: a “reverse mentor,” Inhi Cho, a rising midlevel manager.

Save time by storing “canned responses” on Gmail for commonly asked questions ... Halt interruptions by giving your physical space a makeover ...  Turn voice-mail messages from your mobile, home or work phone into e-mail messages ... Earn the mantle of “too valuable to lose”...

Say your CEO tasks you with cutting HR department costs. You know technology can help slay that cost dragon, but you have no idea where to start. Instead of combing through hundreds of vendor web sites, use these nonbiased resources to search for the right HR tech products.

The former USS Benfold commander is a font of advice on leading a self-contained group, gleaned from his early days aboard an “ugly bucket” through his current studies of leadership. Capt. Michael Abrashoff operates by respecting his staff and taking necessary risks. Here, at random, are three of his approaches to leading:
Navy captain Ed Gantt teaches Junior ROTC at a Maryland high school, where he asked a dozen students to serve as color guards at Andrews Air Force Base. “Is there anyone willing to take this responsibility?” asked Gantt.
Evidence is mounting that raw talent isn’t enough to propel growth. For that, you need a mindset that if people learn, they can grow.

You need both common sense and humility to send your people into the unknown. Adapt this 10-point checklist to keep them moving forward:

Any organization, regardless of size, will do better in most instances by cultivating leaders from within. Employees who are properly engaged, developed, promoted and compensated will be poached less often, and if they’re well trained, they will have knowledge and instincts no one from the outside can match ...

Vision can be tough to come by. You need to know where you’ve come from, whom you admire and what you value. What matters most and what are you determined to accomplish? Meet these criteria and you’re there.