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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In 1972, Joan Winston was a key organizer of the first Star Trek convention, which attracted 3,000 fanatics to New York. With no “information superhighway” yet in place, Winston picked her way through an information jungle, creating an industry.

If you’re in a management role, make sure you “onboard” new hires. You’ll benefit from more engaged, productive employees who want to stay and be committed to the company. Try these three simple ideas:

At PCL Construction in Denver, employees decide which wellness programs the organization will offer. Employee-run wellness committees at each corporate location focus on physical, financial and community wellness, as well as team building.

Ford’s chief executive, Alan Mulally, was mocked in 2006 for gathering more than 400 bankers into a ballroom and asking them to mortgage the company’s assets to pay for an overhaul of the carmaker. The cash, he said, would give Ford “a cushion to protect for a recession or other unexpected event.” Here are some take-away lessons from this forward-thinking leader:

Trust your people’s instincts to avoid hamstringing them ... Tap new ideas with a “hack day,” where you allow customers to help you innovate ... Get more from people by clarifying expectations ... Rely on your team when times are tough, rather than calling the shots and executing all the plays yourself.

In tough economic times, it’s critical to remember the new rules of the workplace, says communication and leadership coach Peggy Klaus. Consider these three rules:


Seeking radical change in your organization? Be revolutionary. While managers believe in distributing information, rebels realize that emotions of pride and anger can move a group of people forward.

Recently, workplace expert Tory Johnson was interviewed about how women can succeed in a challenging job market ( She talked about what she believes is the biggest challenge for female managers, but the advice could easily apply to anyone. Here’s what she said:

When Benjamin Franklin began to put together a public library in Philadelphia, he needed the help of many friends. Instead of claiming the idea, he presented it as a collaborative effort, expediting the process. Franklin emphasized this simple strategy for leadership: Don’t worry about who gets credit.

With more talent chasing fewer jobs, especially in the financial sector, it can’t hurt to freshen up your résumé and look around. For starters, brace yourself: MBAs, to give one example, are flooding the market. Recruiters receive 50 to 60 résumés per opening where they used to get 10 to 20, so concentrate on showing how you contributed to the bottom line.

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